In 2009, when McDonald’s closed its operations in Iceland, because the country’s financial crisis made it too expensive to operate from there. One man “Hjortur Smarason” purchased his last burger and fries from McDonalds to see how long it would take to decompose. He had this impression that McDonald’s foods never decompose, so he wanted to check if it was true or not.
It was first kept in a plastic bag in Mr Smarason’s garage, but after three years, he donated the meal to the National Museum of Iceland. The museum returned the meal saying they were not equipped to preserve food. After a spell in a different hostel in Reykjavík, the meal moved to its current hostel.
It’s been ten years since the indestructible meal was bought, and it does not looks a day older. There’s no mould, it’s only the paper wrapping that looks old. Interestingly, there has been a live stream of the hamburger and french fries from its present area in a glass bureau in Snotra House, in southern Iceland. The hostel reports that people from all over the world visit the burger, and up to 400,000 hits are received every day.
In 2013, McDonald’s commented that “in the right environment, our burgers, like most other foods, could decompose, but that without moisture in the environment, they were unlikely to grow mould or bacteria or decompose”.
An experienced professor in food sciences at the University of Iceland, Bjorn Adalbjornsson, endorsed this explanation. He said, that without moisture, food will dry out.