This Woman Left Her McDonald’s Happy Meal Uneaten for Six Years–This Is What Happened to It

February 8, 2016 Updated: July 30, 2017

A woman from Alaska claims to have purchased a McDonald’s happy meal, which she kept untouched for six years, then photographed the results to share with the world.

“It’s been 6 years since I bought this ‘Happy Meal’ at McDonald’s,” Jennifer Lovdahl wrote on Facebook. “It’s been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard.”

(Jennifer Lovdahl/Facebook)

(Jennifer Lovdahl/Facebook)


The receipt on the Happy Meal box is dated Jan. 8th, 2010.

“We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is. Especially for our growing children.” Lovdahl wrote. “There are so many chemicals in this food. Choose real food!”

This isn’t the first time someone took a picture of an old McDonald’s meal and accused the corporation of putting preservatives in its food. The fast food chain has been dogged by that rumor for years, but maintains that its beef patties have no preservatives in them.

“There are no fillers, extenders or preservatives in our beef. The only thing we add is a small amount of salt and pepper at the grill to bring out flavor,” reads a description of their beef patties on the McDonald’s website.

The science on the matter is disputed, and some have suggested that the apparent longevity of McDonald burgers and other food products could be attributed to the lack of moisture in the area where the food was stored.

McDonald’s has a lengthier explanation:

In the right environment, our burgers, fries and other menu items could decompose. The reason our food may appear not to decompose comes down to a matter of simple science. In order for decomposition to occur, you need certain conditions – specifically moisture. Without sufficient moisture – either in the food itself or the environment – bacteria and mold may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely. So if food is or becomes dry enough, it is unlikely to grow mold or bacteria or decompose. Food prepared at home that is left to dehydrate could see similar results. Look closely, the burgers you are seeing are likely dried out and dehydrated, and by no means “the same as the day they were purchased.”