Lab Test Fails To Find Tuna DNA In Subway’s Tuna Sandwich

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

23 Jun 2021

A lab test organised by the New York Times failed to detect any tuna DNA in a series of Subway tuna sandwiches.

After testing “more than 60in worth of Subway tuna sandwiches” from three of the sandwich makers Los Angeles stores, researchers were left stumped unable to pinpoint a species.

A lab spokesperson told the Times, “There’s 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.”

The news is another blow to Subways reputation especially in the fish department as it follows a lawsuit filed earlier this year alleging the sandwich chain was serving customers “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna.” Independent lab tests showed the company meant to “imitate” tuna’s appearance by blending together these unknown ingredients. 

Some seafood experts have highlighted how cheap tuna is and as such Subway shouldn’t have much incentive to find alternatives. Experts also suggest that Subway itself 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 Times. “They’re buying a can of tuna that says ‘tuna’. If there’s any fraud in this case, it happened at the cannery.”

“The taste and quality of our tuna make it one of Subway’s most popular products and these baseless accusations threaten to damage our franchisees, small business owners who work tirelessly to uphold the high standards that Subway sets for all of its products, including its tuna,” a rep for Subway told the media in response to the lawsuit. “Given the facts, the lawsuit constitutes a reckless and improper attack on Subway’s brand and goodwill, and on the livelihood of its California franchisees. Indeed, there is no basis in law or fact for the plaintiffs’ claims, which are frivolous and are being pursued without adequate investigation.”