Subway is reportedly demanding an apology after the Canadian Broadcasting Company published a “Stunningly flawed test” about the chain’s chicken.
Subway responded to the test immediately by sending samples of the Canadian products in question to two independent labs, one in Canada and another in Florida. According to Good Housekeeping, each lab found that the meat contained less than one percent soy.
“The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers. The safety, quality and integrity of our food is the foundation of our business. That’s why we took extra caution to test and retest the chicken,” President and CEO Suzanne Greco said in a company press release. “Our customers can have confidence in our food. The allegation that our chicken is only 50 percent chicken is 100 percent wrong.”
According to the press release, the new findings were consistent with the soy protein, marinade, and spices the company adds to “keep products moist and flavorful.”
“Our chicken is 100 percent white meat with seasonings, marinated, cooked, and delivered to our restaurants. The chicken has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives,” Dave Theno, Subway’s Chief of Food Safety and Quality added. “Through years of testing, we’ve never seen results like the program claimed.”
Subway is currently demanding a retraction and an apology from the CBC’s Marketplace and the lab the TV show used. The Marketplace, however, claims that it still “stands by its report” and will be releasing the Subway test results, as well as additional details about the investigation.
The Results of the DNA Test
The Marketplace initially tested three samples from Subway – two from the oven-roasted chicken and one from the chicken strips. Each piece of chicken was broken down into three smaller samples, which were individually tested.
The lab reportedly retested these samples a second time.
Because the results differed so greatly from the DNA composition of the other sandwiches the Marketplace tested, the lab decided to test 10 new samples – five of the oven-roasted chicken and five of the chicken strips. According to the CBC, these samples were obtained from multiple locations across southern Ontario.
According to the CBC, these repeated tests confirmed the lab’s initial findings.
“DNA tests do not lie (especially when conducted multiple times), and anyone with access to a DNA laboratory could perform these tests,” Food Scientist at the University of Guelph and Meat Processing Expert Benjamin Bohrer, wrote in a blog post published on Monday. “Either make your chicken truly a marinated, seasoned chicken or embrace your products for what they are and tell your customers about your agenda. Consumers want to know the story of their food, so be transparent.”
In addition, the lab tested the samples from all chains – Wendy’s A&W, Tim Hortons, and McDonald’s – for plant DNA and found that nearly half of the DNA in the chicken samples from Subway were of plant origin.
So, WTF is in Subway Chicken?
Subway declined to speak with Marketplace on camera about the lab’s findings. The chain also refused to show Marketplace where and how its chicken is made.
The chain did, however, agree to share the ingredients in its chicken via email:
- Chicken patty: Chicken breast meat, water, seasoning (sea salt, sugar, chicken stock, salt, flavors, canola oil, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, chicken fat, honey), soy protein, sodium phosphates.
- Chicken strips: Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, water, soy protein concentrate, modified potato starch, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, maltodextrin, yeast extract, flavors, spices, dextrose, onion powder, caramelized sugar, paprika, chicken broth, vinegar solids, paprika extract.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Subway has come under fire for its ingredients. In 2015, the chain faced scrutiny over an ingredient called azodicarbonamide after the well-known food blogger, FoodBabe, petitioned the company to remove it from their bread.
[Feature Image By gargantiopa/Thinkstock]