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Lab Study Determines There's 'No Amplifiable Tuna DNA' in Subway Tuna Sandwiches amid Lawsuit Against Chain

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Friday, June 25, 2021, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by People:

The New York Times tested “more than 60 inches worth of Subway tuna sandwiches” from California locations to determine if the sandwiches had one out of five different tuna species 

The Subway tuna saga continues after a lab study found no evidence of tuna DNA following testing of Subway's sandwiches and wraps.

The New York Times commissioned to have "more than 60 inches worth of Subway tuna sandwiches" tested by a lab following a lawsuit in January which claimed there's no real tuna in the chain's ingredients. The Washington Post was the first to report the allegations made by two California residents - Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin - who filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Image: courtesy Justia

Samples of the tuna from Subway were picked up from three locations in Los Angeles and a lab conducted a PCR test to determine if the chain restaurant's tuna included one of five different tuna species, the New York Times revealed. As the outlet notes, the Seafood List compiled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines 15 species of fish that can be labeled as tuna.

Subway claims that they use skipjack and yellowfin tuna, species that the lab used by the New York Times would be able to detect. "No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA," the lab study concluded. "Therefore, we cannot identify the species."

The lab spokesperson added: "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." 

When tuna is cooked, its DNA becomes denatured - meaning that test results could be inaccurate due to the change, the New York Times added. Inside Edition similarly commissioned a lab study in February using the tuna from three Subway locations in Queens, New York. Their results concluded that the chain does use real tuna.

Photo: Subway

In the lawsuit filed in January, plaintiffs allege Subway's tuna is made "from a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by Defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna." The complaint allegedly comes after the plaintiffs had "multiple samples" of the tuna taken from Subway locations across California tested at independent labs. 

In a statement given to PEOPLE, a Subway spokesperson responded to the suit, saying: "There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California."

As the Subway website showed, there was a deal pops up encouraging customers to order a sub, touting that its fish is "100% real wild-caught tuna, 100% delicious." The promo code was "ITSREAL"

"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.  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," the chain said. "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." (continues...)

Author: Naledi Ushe / People | Read the full article by clicking de link here


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