What a McDonald's Happy Meal looks like after 6 years

McDonald's to Include Books With Its Happy Meals
McDonald's to Include Books With Its Happy Meals

Photos claiming to show a six-year-old McDonald's Happy Meal are going viral online.

Jennifer Lovdahl posted photos of the meal and an accompanying receipt dated January 8, 2010 to Facebook.

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The photos show four chicken nuggets and and a small order of slightly shriveled french fries.

"It's been 6 years since I bought this 'Happy Meal' at McDonald's," Lovdahl wrote in the photo caption. "It's been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!"

It's been 6 years since I bought this "Happy Meal" at McDonald's. It's been sitting at our office this whole time and...

Posted by Jennifer Lovdahl on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lovdahl said she bought the food and let it sit for years to prove to people that McDonald's food is unhealthy because it doesn't rot.

Lovdahl's post has been shared more than 187,000 times on Facebook.

We reached out to her for more information and will update when we hear back.

Stories about McDonald's hamburgers that last years before rotting are frequently cited as evidence that fast food is loaded with preservatives.

McDonald's USA offers another 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."

Dr. Keith Warriner, the program director at the University of Guelph's Department of Food Science and Quality Assurance, gives a lengthier explanation that you can read here.

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