Subway Tuna remains a mystery: NYT

  • After an alleged lawsuit that Subway tuna is not actually tuna, The New York Times did its own analysis.
  • The newspaper used a commercial lab to analyze samples of tuna purchased in Los Angeles.
  • The sandwich chain rejected claims that its tuna was not 100% genuine and called the lawsuit unfounded.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Earlier this year, Subway was the victim of a lawsuit alleging that its tuna is not actually tuna.

The country’s largest sandwich chain has called the lawsuit unfair and maintains it only buys skipjack and yellowfin tuna from fisheries whose stocks are not overexploited.

Seeking to unravel the mystery, The New York Times on Sunday published a report with the results of a commercial lab analysis of “60-inch Subway Tuna Sandwiches” purchased at three different locations in Los Angeles. The tuna meat was removed, frozen and shipped for testing.

The results: “No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and therefore we did not get any amplification product from the DNA,” the email read. “Therefore, we cannot identify the species.”

A spokesperson for the lab told The Times the results pointed to two possible scenarios. “One, it’s so processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t do identification. Or we have it and there’s just nothing out there that’s tuna,” the said. spokesperson.

Tuna experts also pointed out to The Times that once fish like tuna have been cooked, their proteins break down or denature, making it extremely difficult to identify.

The newspaper also notes that he’s not the first to try and find out if Subway’s popular tuna sandwich actually contains all of the tuna. Inside Edition conducted its own investigation in New York and I found out that the tuna bought in the sandwiches was actually tuna.

Meanwhile, Subway continues to fight a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that it is making false claims about its tuna meat.

The lawsuit alleges that “independent tests have been repeatedly confirmed” Subway makes the tuna product without real tuna, but it did not name the agencies that performed the tests. The lawsuit also claims that Subway is taking advantage of the mislabelling of tuna products by using cheaper ingredients.

Subway dismissed the allegations as unfounded.

“These claims are baseless,” a Subway spokesperson said in a statement to Insider in January. “Tuna is one of our most popular sandwiches. Our restaurants receive 100% wild tuna, mix it with mayonnaise and serve on a freshly made sandwich to our guests.

“Subway will vigorously defend itself against these efforts and against any other unsubstantiated effort to distort and tarnish the high quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers,” the statement added.


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