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New lab test ‘cannot identify the species’ of a Subway tuna sandwich

What’s in the Subway tuna sandwich? No one knows

A woman wears a face mask near a Subway restaurant sign.
A woman wears a face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as she walks past a boarded-up storefront and a Subway restaurant sign, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Washington.
Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

The New York Times recently led out on analysis to find out what’s really inside Subway’s tuna sandwich, and the results were inconclusive.

Seriously.

Subway’s tuna controversy

OK. Quick recap here. There have been some questions about what’s actually inside Subway’s tuna. California residents Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin filed a lawsuit in January 2021 against Subway for fraud, intentional misrepresentation and unjust enrichment, saying there’s no tuna in the Subway’s tuna sandwich meat, as the Deseret News reported.

The lawsuit said that some testing results show the tuna sandwich “has no scintilla of tuna at all. In fact, the products entirely lack any trace of tuna as a component, let alone the main or predominant ingredient,” according to USA Today.

So, what’s in the Subway tuna sandwich?

A report for The New York Times decided to buy 60 inches of Subway sandwiches from three different locations. The New York Times reporter then froze the tuna and then brought it to a lab, where a study began to see if the tuna had any real tuna inside of it.

The study, however, did not identify any tuna DNA within the Subway tuna. Yeah. And, to make matters even more mysterious, there was nothing in the “tuna” that pointed to a specific animal.

  • “No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA. Therefore, we cannot identify the species,” the results read, according to Complex.

What does this mean for tuna sandwiches at Subway?

A spokesperson for the lab told The New York Times that there are two reasons for this:

  • “One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification,” the spokesperson said. “Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.”

Did Subway respond to the new report?

Subway has not responded to the test results yet, according to The Hill.

However, Subway spokesperson Maggie Truax released a statement to USA Today at the time of the California lawsuit.

  • “There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California. 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.
  • “Subway will vigorously defend itself against these and any other baseless efforts to mischaracterize and tarnish the high-quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers, in California and around the world, and intends to fight these claims through all available avenues if they are not immediately dismissed,” per Today.