One Utah man’s prized possession is turning 21 this year — and it’s a hamburger.
David Whipple claims to own “the world’s oldest hamburger,” which he says he purchased at McDonald’s on July 7, 1999.
He shared a picture of the burger on his personal Facebook profile. In the photo, the meat patty can be seen on a bare bun sitting next to an old paper bag from the popular fast-food chain, along with a grease-stained receipt.
Above the burger is a piece of paper with the alleged purchase date.
Whipple bought the burger to use in presentations about enzymes and how things deteriorate, KUTV reports.
“I bought a hamburger, a McDonald’s hamburger,” he told the local broadcast station. “I think it was 79 cents in Logan, Utah.”
While the purchase was intentional, Whipple hadn’t been planning on keeping it for over two decades.
“The story goes, I had a hamburger that I was using to show people about how these deteriorate,” he said. “I carried it around for a month … and then it got stuck in a coat pocket.
“The coat got thrown in the back of my van, and I guess it just got hung up in the closet. Subsequently, we moved from Logan to St. George, Utah, and it stayed there for a few years. I think my wife was giving the coat away and found it.”
The Utahn has kept the burger in a Big Mac-shaped tin and the tin inside a glass jar. According to KUTV, the burger didn’t even smell that bad.
Back in 2013, when the burger was 14 years old, the Salt Lake City station brought it around a Dixie State University cafeteria hall to have students guess its age.
Many didn’t think it was over a week old, and even the lead chef was impressed by how well it had kept.
“This is a mummified hamburger,” he said at the time. “It dried so fast that there was no way the bacteria or mould could grow and make it nasty.”
Whipple was even offered money for the burger. According to him, a local radio jockey wanted to microwave and eat it for a good cause.
He wasn’t ready to give it up just yet. Maybe next decade.