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Subway chicken might be something other than chicken

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Is Subway chicken really chicken?

Is Subway chicken really chicken?

Rob Adamic

Rob Adamic

Is Subway chicken really chicken?

Rob Adamic

Is Subway chicken?  It’s a question that has plagued the restaurant chain for a few weeks now.

It all started when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Marketplace television program hired a lab to test the DNA of chicken from several fast food restaurants.  The lab determined McDonald’s chicken patties to contain 84.9 percent chicken and Wendy’s grilled chicken to actually contain 88.5 percent chicken.  Subway scored much lower with only 53.6 percent chicken found in the oven roasted chicken patties and an even lower score of 42.8 percent in the chicken strips.  The non chicken portion of the Subway meat was mostly soy.

It’s not unheard for restaurants to not use 100 percent meat, in fact it’s quite common.  These other ingredients help to stretch the meat bringing down expenses and they also help to flavor and preserve it.  There also isn’t really a rule against it.  As long as chicken has touched the end product at some point, restaurants can claim to have made the food with “100 percent real chicken” even if the final product doesn’t actually contain pieces of chicken.  This is a technicality that gets many companies past Food and Drug Administration regulations.

Subway CEO Suzanne Greco claims on the company’s website that this isn’t the case, “The allegation that our chicken is only 50 percent chicken is 100 percent wrong."  The company’s prepared rebuttal of the Marketplace report claims that the “chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1 percent or less of soy protein,” and that the soy is used “to help stabilize the texture and moisture” of the chicken.  

Despite Subway’s claims Marketplace refused to back down on the story so Subway paid to have their own tests conducted by independent labs in Canada and the United States.  The Subway paid tests concluded that the chicken contained less than 1 percent soy.  This still wasn’t enough to change the opinion at Marketplace which still stands by the story.

Subway’s own test results may also not be enough to change the minds of consumers.  “They’re probably paying them,” said Ohlone student Jessica Esquivel who doesn’t believe the new test results.  The Marketplace report has ruined Subway for her and the next time she wants a sandwich she plans to go to “Togo’s or whatever little joint they have around but not Subway.”

Other consumers are planning to do more than just avoid Subway.  The company now faces a class action lawsuit led by an angry Connecticut man with a history of filing class action lawsuits.

Not everyone is upset by the soy controversy though, “A lot of other restaurants include soy so I don’t think it will stop me from going to Subway,” said Manny another Ohlone College student.

It remains to be seen how the chicken controversy will affect Subway and with Marketplace still not backing down from their story the fall out may not be over yet.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Subway chicken might be something other than chicken”

  1. disqus_wsQKEXwqrw on March 23rd, 2017 3:20 am

    What about tuna (& other) sandwich at Subway? They don’t match tv ads or in store photos. I asked why so little tuna? In response I was asked if I wanted to pay for extra meat. I answered that I didn’t want any meat, I wanted more than the minuscule amount of fish.

  2. Heugh “The Eagle Has Landed” J on April 17th, 2017 3:08 pm

    Just in case any of you did NOT know. Soy has been linked to cancer. SOOOO there’s that.

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Subway chicken might be something other than chicken