If something smells fishy, it ain’t Subway’s tuna.
More than 60in worth of Subway tuna sandwiches from three Los Angeles were acquired from a reporter to be taken to a specialized fish-testing lab. Researchers were unable to determine a species.
“There’s two conclusions. One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification,” said a lab spokesperson to the Times. “Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.”
In February, a similar test run by Inside Edition with Applied Food Technologies, a Florida-based lab, resulted in confirmation of the presence of tuna. Their samples came from New York.
According to The Washington Post, two California customers filed a lawsuit in January claiming the products are “made from anything but tuna.”
The customers described the “tuna” as ingredients “blended together… to imitate the appearance of tuna”. They believe that it is “made from a mixture of various concoctions.”
Subway has already faced controversy in the past over their $5 foot-long sandwiches turning out to be only 11 to 11.5in long. That fiasco turned into a class-action complaint.
Subway has defended themselves against the fake fish frenzy, calling the lawsuit “baseless”. In January, it promoted its “100% real wild-caught tuna” on its website and even offered a 15% discount on foot-long tuna subs.
What was the discount code, you ask? “ITSREAL”.
Earlier this month, the California customers who sued Subway dialed down on some of their more intense claims. They still claimed the presentation for Subway’s tuna products were “false and misleading”.
Other sandwich makers pointed out that tuna isn’t an expensive meat. This means Subway has less of a reason to switch it for a cheaper alternative.
Seafood experts suggested that Subway might not be to blame if its tuna isn’t actually tuna.
“I don’t think a sandwich place would intentionally mislabel,” Dave Rudie, president of Catalina Offshore Products, said to the Times. “They’re buying a can of tuna that says ‘tuna’. If there’s any fraud in this case, it happened at the cannery.”
Well, in any case, Subway should work on their slogan. ‘Eat fresh’ doesn’t seem accurate anymore.
*This story was written by Jaylin Delestre