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Icelandic hostel displays McDonald's burger and fries sold 10 years ago

James Leggate

It’s been 10 years since the last McDonald’s burger was sold in Iceland, and you can watch as it slowly decays live over the internet.

The cheeseburger and fries are on display at the Snotra House, a hostel on the southwest coast of Iceland. The hostel set up a live stream showing the food, which appears to be in better shape than one might expect considering a decade has passed since its purchase.

The last McDonald’s restaurant in Iceland closed on Oct. 31, 2009. Hjörtur Smárason bought one of the last meals before the restaurant closed, according to the Reykjavik Grapevine. But instead of eating the cheeseburger and fries, he stuck them in a plastic bag and left it for three years.

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“I had heard something about McDonald’s never decaying so I just wanted to find out for myself whether this was true or not,” he told the Grapevine.

Not much happened to the burger for the next three years, until Smárason donated it to the National Museum of Iceland, according to the report. But the museum, for some reason, didn’t want to display a musty old burger, so it went to a hostel in Reykjavik for a few years before landing in its current home at the Snotra House.

The hostel has the meal sealed inside a case in its guesthouse lounge with a sign inviting visitors to take a selfie with it.

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In a statement on its website, McDonald’s said humidity is key for rotting to take place and suggested the Icelandic food on display may have dried out, which would explain why it hasn’t rotted faster.

“That has nothing to do with preservatives or additives — it’s simple science,” the company wrote.

The company says that it has focused on existing markets for the past several years, and has no immediate plans to return to Iceland.

“McDonald's will continue with this strategy for some period but in the future we may take steps towards seeking franchisees for markets where we do not have a presence, including Iceland,” the company tells potential franchisees.

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