Do McDonalds Burgers Rot?


In 2010, New York photographer Sally Davies put a McDonald’s hamburger and fries in a jar. Five months later, the food still looked edible while KFC fries bought and stored on the same day were white and furry with mould. Marion Nestle, chair of NYU’s food studies program, told Salon that McDonald’s would have to use “a lot of sodium propionate* to prevent bacterial or mold growth.” Davies continues to take photos of the same meal and post them on her website; as of July 2015, it has not noticeably disintegrated.

  • Chemically synthesized sodium propionate is most commonly used as a preservative in the food industry. It prevents the growth of mould and some bacteria, thereby prolonging the shelf life of packaged baked goods. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, sodium propionate is generally recognised as safe when used as a food additive. It is also used to prevent mould growth in packaged and processed cheese products.


So a question: If mould and bacteria don’t want to consume it, why would we feed it to our family?