Subway tuna sandwich DNA results: The controversy explained

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CNET 24 June, 2021 - 12:07pm 47 views

Is there tuna in Subway tuna?

The chain says it serves "100% wild-caught, cooked tuna" mixed with mayonnaise. Subway also says tuna is one of its most popular sandwich fillings. Business InsiderSubway says the drama surrounding the New York Times' tuna story is based on a misunderstanding

What kind of fish is in Subway tuna?

The lab says the tuna was either so heavily processed that the tuna DNA wasn't identifiable or that no tuna was used. Subway says it uses the skipjack and yellowfin tuna and that there's "simply no truth to the allegations." WLS-TVNo tuna DNA found in Subway's tuna sandwich, according to NYT lab test

Is Subway selling real tuna?

“We only sell skipjack and yellowfin tuna. It is sourced from fisheries with non-threatened stock levels. Furthermore, we have a global ban on the sale of tuna species that come from anything less than healthy stocks, for example, Albacore and Tongol,” the statement read. masslive.comStudy finds no tuna in Subway sandwiches; either fake fish or too cooked to tell

The late-night host finally found out what’s really in Subway’s tuna sandwiches and it’s not fish

A new report from the New York Times recently found that Subway’s tuna sandwiches might not be made of tuna at all — which lead late-night host Stephen Colbert to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the sandwich chain is taking a page from “Soylent Green” and serving some unscrupulous meats to its guests.

In a new “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” cold open gag, Colbert suggests that Subway tuna is actually human flesh instead of the chicken of the sea.

As the beginning of the gag pointed out, two women decided to sue the Subway — the world’s largest sandwich chain which famously boasts its motto is “eat fresh” — for using “anything but tuna” in its sandwiches.

The Washington Post reported at the time the lawsuit was filed in January that the plaintiffs ordered “multiple samples” to be tested independent labs. The lawsuit alleges that all of the lab results proved that the so-called fish is actually “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna.”

Unusually, though, the tuna tests by both the lawsuit’s plaintiffs and recent tests done by the New York Times still can’t determine what the “meat” actually is — they just know it isn’t any form of tuna fish. The sandwich is historically one of the company’s best-selling products, though, as a spokeswoman for Subway told the Times last week.

So that uncertainty led Colbert and his team to joke that Subway might actually be pulling a “Soylent Green” and feeding people around the globe processed human flesh. “The Late Show” produced a gag that was a fake Subway commercial and featured a pretty good deep-fake of Charlton Heston in his role as detective Frank Thorn in the award-winning 1973 science fiction film. The ad called Heston “Charles Weston,” but still, we get what they were spoofing.

“At Subway, there’s been a lot of talk recently about whether or not Subway tuna sandwiches contain any real tuna,” the ad’s voice-over read as commercial-style close-ups of tuna sandwiches were shown. “Well after 55 years it’s finally time to come clean. Here’s our CEO Charles H. Weston.”

Then it cuts to the end of “Soylent Green” with a dubbed-over voice delivering maybe Heston’s most iconic line of all time, with a twist: “Subway tuna is made out of people!”

“Okay, you got us. Some of our sandwiches contain people. But for a limited time only, when you buy one footlong man sandwich, you get another one for 50% off. That’s a deal, regardless of what the filling is made of.”

Take a look at the clip below, and maybe consider sticking to homemade sandwiches for awhile.

On #LSSC tonight: We found out what Subway ‘tuna’ actually is. pic.twitter.com/1HLN7L5YX8

Read full article at CNET

Subway’s tuna sandwiches found to contain no tuna fish DNA, lab tests find following lawsuit

Fox Business 24 June, 2021 - 01:10pm

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Subway is on the hook for its tuna once again after a lab report found there’s no actual tuna DNA in its sandwiches and wraps. 

The New York Times had 60 inches of Subway tuna sandwiches from three different restaurants in Los Angeles lab tested after the chain was accused in a lawsuit reported earlier this year, alleging the fish is made from "a mixture of various concoctions," first reported by the Washington Post. 

The tuna was frozen and sent out to the lab, which determined "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," according to the Times. 

The lab conducted a PCR test to see if Subway’s tuna featured one of five varying tuna species, the New York Times reported, explaining there are 15 species of fish that can be labeled tuna, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List. 

The lab determined two potential reasons why no tuna was detected in the sample, saying, "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 newspaper noted. 

Experts told the Times that when tuna is cooked, its protein breaks down, making it hard to identify, so the lab results may not be accurate, according to the Times.

Subway did not immediately return a FOX Business request for comment. 

The food fraud investigation comes on the heels of a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California suing the sandwich chain for fraud, with the plaintiffs alleging they were lied to and "tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing." 

Subway responded to the lawsuit in January, saying there is "no truth to the allegations in the complaint" and affirming the chain "delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants," Fox News previously reported.

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Subway tuna investigation

FOX59 News 24 June, 2021 - 01:10pm

No tuna found in Subway sandwiches

KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco 24 June, 2021 - 01:10pm

Lab analysis of Subway's tuna sandwiches fails to identify tuna DNA for SECOND time

Daily Mail 24 June, 2021 - 01:10pm

By Holden Walter-warner For Dailymail.com

Subway's tuna sandwiches have been found to contain zero traces of tuna DNA, according to a new lab study.  

The research, commissioned by the New York Times, sent more than 60 inches worth of tuna sandwiches to a lab after ordering them from the fast food franchise at various Los Angeles locations. 

The sandwiches were ordered without cheese or vegetables to avoid contaminating the test. 

The reporter proceeded to remove the tuna meat from the sandwiches before freezing it, then sending it to a commercial food testing lab. 

The latest blow to the fast food chain comes just months after a class-action lawsuit was filed against the fast food franchise alleging misrepresentation of the fish in their sandwiches. 

A tuna sandwich from Subway is displayed 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 involved in the latest tests declined to be named, citing concern about jeopardizing future professional opportunities.

The lab conducted a $500 PCR test to determine if the Subway tuna was one of five different species.

They found 'no amplification products from the DNA' and so they 'cannot identify the species.' 

A spokesman from the lab hinted at two possible 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.'

However, it was also taken into consideration that when tuna is cooked and seasoned, its DNA is more difficult to locate. 

Subway is the fast food chain with the largest number of restaurants both in the United States and worldwide

That is because cooked tuna becomes denatured, destroying its characteristics and making it difficult to identify. 

There are 15 species of fish that can be considered tuna, but Subway states they sell skipjack and yellowfin tuna, which a lab would know as Katsuwonus pelamis and T. albacares, respectively.

'It is sourced from fisheries with non-threatened stock levels,' the company's Tuna and Seafood Sourcing statement says. 

Subway does not comment on where they get their tuna from, but a California store manager revealed the 'tuna comes in a case and inside the case, there are six aluminum pouches and it’s just like a pressed, vacuum sealed slab of tuna.'

She described it as 'flaky' and 'clearly soaked in water' when it arrives, before it is spread out and mixed with mayo.

Tuna can stay in the refrigerated sandwich bar located in stores for up to 72 hours, she added, per corporate guidelines.

A former employee told the Times that she didn't believe the company was swapping tuna out.

'I personally have a really weak stomach to fish, which is how we know the tuna is real,' she stated. 

Additionally, a recent Inside Edition investigation found that specimens taken from Queens Subway locations were actually tuna. 

Still, many people on social media couldn't help but to rag on Subway for the latest hit to the company.

'There is about as much courage DNA in the Republican Party as there is tuna DNA in a Subway sandwich,' Dan Rather sarcastically tweeted. 

One user tweeted, 'the subway tuna fish sandwich is most likely people and i think that's fine.' 

'Something fishy going on here,' tweeted another user, pun clearly intended. 

The testing comes five months after two Bay Area residents, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin of Alameda County, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court, accusing the American fast food restaurant franchise of misrepresenting its tuna sandwich.

The plaintiffs claim that they performed independent lab tests of samples of tuna taken from several Subway locations in California.

The tests prove that the ‘tuna’ is actually a ‘mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by [Subway] to imitate the appearance of tuna,’ according to the complaint.

The complaint does not specify what the lab tests revealed or what the tuna is actually made of.

A lab found 'no amplification products from the DNA' and so they 'cannot identify the species' (Pictured: A Subway employee prepares a sandwich in Moscow, Russia)

Subway has denied the claims, telling DailyMail.com  that the tuna is real and from fish caught in the wild.

A Subway representative told DailyMail.com: ‘These claims are meritless.’  

'There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California,' a company spokesperson told DailyMail.com. 

'Subway delivers 100 per cent 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. 

'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.'

Anyone wishing to join the lawsuit would have had to purchase a tuna sandwich or tuna wrap sometime after January 21, 2017.

Dhanowa and Amin are suing Subway for fraud, intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and other civil violations.  

They recently issued a new filing, however, seemingly retreating slightly from their original claim and alleging their lawsuit is about if Subway uses '100% sustainably caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna.'

Subway is the fast food chain with the largest number of restaurants both in the United States and worldwide.

According to its website, there are more than 22,000 Subway franchises in the US; more than 2,800 in Canada; 1,674 in Brazil; more than 1,200 in Australia; and thousands more combined in Europe, Russia, and China.

There are more than 40,000 Subway locations worldwide, with tuna sandwiches proving to be one its best sellers. It's the only seafood sandwich they sell.

'Subway’s tuna sandwich ranks among our guests’ favorite sandwiches,' a spokeswoman from the company said. 

Tuna is very popular in the United States, with Nielsen Holdings reporting around 700 million cans sold in 2020.

Grand View Research claims the canned tuna market in 2020 was valued at $8.57 billion, likely due to the rush for canned food during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Is Subway selling real tuna or is it fake? Test finds no tuna DNA.

USA TODAY 23 June, 2021 - 05:15pm

After a class-action lawsuit was filed against Subway in January alleging that its tuna was fake, the New York Times launched an investigation.

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The lab sample came from Subway tuna sandwiches from three different store locations in Los Angeles. Video Elephant

After a class-action lawsuit was filed against Subway in January alleging that its tuna was fake, The New York Times launched an investigation on whether the allegations were true or false.

In the article, journalist Julia Carmel wrote that she used commercial lab that could test a sample of tuna from different sandwiches across California Subways. Carmel found herself on the phone with a spokesman for a lab that specialized in fish testing.

"He agreed to test the tuna, but asked that the lab not be named in this article, as he did not want to jeopardize any opportunities to work directly with America's largest sandwich chain," Carmel wrote.

For about $500, Carmel wrote that his lab would conduct a PCR test, which would make copies of a specific DNA sample, and this test would show if Subway's tuna included one of five different tuna species.

After more than a month of waiting, the results came in.

The lab told Carmel that there were two conclusions: either the meat was too heavily processed to be identified, or there was simply no tuna DNA to begin with.

However, there are other factors to consider, including the fact that once tuna is cooked, its DNA becomes denatured, which would make it difficult to identify a fish's characteristics.

"A recent New York Times report indicates that DNA testing is an unreliable methodology for identifying processed tuna. This report supports and reflects the position that Subway has taken in relation to a meritless lawsuit filed in California and with respect to DNA testing as a means to identify cooked proteins," the sandwich chain said in a statement to Business Insider. "DNA testing is simply not a reliable way to identify denatured proteins, like Subway's tuna, which was cooked before it was tested."

According to The Washington Post, the class-action lawsuit – filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California – alleged that based on independent lab tests of "multiple samples" taken from Subway locations in California, the tuna is "a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna."

The two plaintiffs of the complaint, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, sued Subway for fraud, intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and other claims, according to The Washington Post. Dhanowa and  Amin argued they "were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing."

© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

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