Lab test on Subway tuna sandwiches finds absolutely no tuna


Researchers say they were unable to identify what the ‘tuna’ substance actually was (Picture: Getty Images)

A test on the tuna used in Subway sandwiches failed to identify any tuna DNA.

A reporter from the New York Times bought more than 60 inches’ worth – 10 sandwiches – from three stores in Los Angeles.

They then sent them to a specialist fish-testing lab, but researchers say they were unable to identify what the ‘tuna’ substance actually was.

A lab spokesperson told the publication: ‘There are two conclusions: one, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification.

‘Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.’

It comes after two Subway customers in California filed a lawsuit against the chain, claiming the products ‘are made from anything but tuna’.

They instead alleged the substance is ‘made from a mixture of various concoctions’, ingredients ‘blended together… to imitate the appearance of tuna’.

But in February Inside Edition ran a similar test based on samples from New York, and a lab did confirm the presence of tuna.


SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 22: A worker at a Subway sandwich shop makes a tuna sandwich on June 22, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. A recent lab analysis of tuna used in Subway sandwiches commissioned by the New York Times did not reveal any tuna DNA in samples taken from Subway tuna sandwiches. The lab was unable to pinpoint a species in the tuna samples from three Los Angeles area Subway sandwich shops. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It comes after two Subway customers filed a lawsuit claiming the products ‘are made from anything but tuna’ (Picture: Getty Images)

A Subway spokesperson previously said: ‘These claims are meritless.

‘Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests.

‘Indeed, there is no basis in law or fact for the plaintiffs’ claims, which are frivolous and are being pursued without adequate investigation.’

Earlier this year the company offered a 15% discount on foot-long tuna subs under the promotion code ‘ITSREAL’.

And a TikTok made by one sandwich artist at Subway appeared to debunk the claims.


SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 22: A label is displayed on a tuna sandwich from Subway on June 22, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. A recent lab analysis of tuna used in Subway sandwiches commissioned by the New York Times did not reveal any tuna DNA in samples taken from Subway tuna sandwiches. The lab was unable to pinpoint a species in the tuna samples from three Los Angeles area Subway sandwich shops. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If it’s not tuna, then what is it? (Picture: Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the customers who sued Subway backtracked on some of their claims.

But they still alleged ‘labelling, marketing and advertising’ for Subway’s tuna products was ‘false and misleading’.

But seafood experts have suggested Subway may not be to blame if its tuna is in fact not tuna.

‘I don’t think a sandwich place would intentionally mislabel,’ Dave Rudie, president of Catalina Offshore Products, told the New York Times.

‘They’re buying a can of tuna that says “tuna”. If there’s any fraud in this case, it happened at the cannery.’

Subway, which has more than 44,000 stores worldwide with half of these in the US, has been threatened with legal action several times.

One complaint said its ‘foot-long’ sandwiches were in fact only 11 to 11.5 inches long, and Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the brand’s bread contains so much sugar it cannot technically be classed as bread.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Subway for comment about the latest lab test results.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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