Moldy food isn’t usually something a restaurant would brag about, but Burger King is using the tactic to celebrate a change to their menu: the iconic Whopper is now free of artificial preservatives.
Burger King is officially rolling out the sandwich with no preservatives, colors, or flavors from artificial sources in the U.S., according to a press release. The product is already available in more than 400 restaurants nationwide and across Europe and will reach all United States locations by the end of the year.
In order to promote the arrival of the preservative-free product, Burger King is foregoing its classic, flawless style of featuring the Whopper in a commercial spot and instead letting it rot on camera. The ad refers to the number of days that have passed since the sandwich was prepared, and by day 34 it’s nearly covered in fuzzy, green mold. “The beauty of no artificial preservatives,” flashes across the screen.
“At Burger King restaurants, we believe that real food tastes better. That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors, and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world,” Fernando Machado, International Global Chief Marketing Officer of Restaurant Brands, the fast-food chain’s parent company, said in the press release.
The brand has also removed MSG and high-fructose corn syrup from all food items in many European countries and across the United States.
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These changes come at a time when some fast food chains have faced increased scrutiny of their products.
In early January, a Utah man revealed that a McDonald’s burger he bought in 1999 appears to remain in perfect shape. In response, a representative for the burger chain explained, “In the right environment, our burgers, like most other foods, could decompose. But, in order to decompose, 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.”
A live stream of the last remaining McDonald’s burger and fries purchased in Iceland before the company closed its locations there went viral recently as well. The menu items have been untouched for ten years and have yet to decompose.
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