Subway CEO defends chain’s tuna sandwiches after DNA test threw doubt on contents

Subway CEO defends chain’s tuna sandwiches after DNA test threw doubt on contents
He says Subway’s tuna sandwich is one of his ‘two favourites’

Subway CEO John Chidsey has defended the sandwich chain’s tuna following controversy over whether the ingredient is made with actual tuna.

Subway has faced tuna-related questions for some time, after a lawsuit filed earlier this year alleged that the menu item did “not contain tuna,” while a recent New York Times report, relying on a lab analysis, alleged that the ingredient was found to have “no tuna DNA”.

However, according to Chidsey, who spoke with CNN about a recent menu overhaul that was rolled out Tuesday, the company is so confident in its tuna that the new changes will not impact the ingredient, as Subway is “very proud of our tuna”.

The sandwich CEO also revealed that the tuna sandwich is actually one of his two favourite menu items.

During the interview, Chidsey first acknowledged that the complaint was amended in June to state that Subway tuna is “100 per cent tuna,” but now questions what kind of tuna – concerns that he said can be cleared up if you “follow the science”.

“They question what kind of tuna it is. But they acknowledge it is 100 per cent tuna. That’s not the real issue. I say follow the science, and if you follow the science, once tuna is cooked, its DNA becomes denatured, which means when you go to test it, you can’t tell one way or the other,” he said.

Chidsey then encouraged those still in doubt to visit Subway’s website, which he said takes one through “all the science” and clarifies any lingering misconceptions about the tuna ingredients.

In an effort to underline the chain’s commitment to its tuna, Chidsey also pointed out that, as the company worked on its menu refresh for the last 15 to 16 months, the sandwich ingredient was “the one thing we did not touch”.

“We worked on turkey. We worked on ham. We worked on chicken. We worked on steak. People love our tuna,” he continued. “We’re very proud of our tuna, so I think that’s really the end of the story.”

When asked whether he himself indulges in Subway tuna sandwiches, Chidsey confirmed that he “absolutely” does, and that they are his favourite apart from the “Turkey Cali Fresh”.

According to a press release, the menu revamp will include changes to more than 20 items, with “improvements to almost every core menu item”. Some changes customers can expect are new bread products, smashed avocado, and “upgrades” to Subway’s ham and turkey.


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