A woman who claims she left a McDonald's Happy Meal untouched for six years as an experiment has shared the outcome on social media, accompanied with a receipt dating back to January 8, 2010.
Jennifer Lovdahl, a chiropractor from Alaska in the US, posted the photos to Facebook, saying she initially conducted the experiment to prove to her patients how many chemicals are in fast food items.
"It's been 6 years since I bought this 'Happy Meal' at McDonald's," she wrote.
"It's been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard."
The nuggets and fries, which Ms Lovedahl says were left out of the fridge the whole time, appear to be in pristine condition.
One Facebook user observed, "The receipt has disintegrated more than the food."
In the US, chicken McNuggets are made with 40 different ingredients including corn starch and dextrose.
In New Zealand the list is much smaller, with McDonald's local website listing chicken, water, flour, thickener, raising agents, salt and spices, wheat starch and vegetable oil as the ingredients used.
A McDonald's spokesperson said: "Our Chicken McNuggets are made for us by Ingham's in Manukau. They're made with 100 per cent New Zealand chicken breast. While we do use preservatives in some of our products, it is always to the minimum level required to achieve the function needed and complies with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand."
They explained that the reason food may or may not take on mould can "depend on a number of factors".
These include the environment food is kept in, moisture levels in the food, and its ingredients.
"As an example, experiments have been done with McDonald's food where they don't mould, while in other cases it does mould. In New Zealand a number of similar experiments have been carried out with varying results."
A New York photographer recently conducted a similar experiment, letting a Happy Meal sit on her coffee table for six months. Sally Davies took pictures of the hamburger and fries every day to track it's deterioration, but allegedly the meal showed no signs of spoilage, decomposition, or mold growth.
- news.com.au, nzherald.co.nz