Lawsuit Claims Subway Is Selling Fake Tuna Sandwiches

Lawsuit Claims Subway Is Selling Fake Tuna Sandwiches

FILE- In this March 3, 2015, file photo, Roberto Castelan makes a sandwich at a Subway sandwich franchise in Seattle. Subway is changing up its loyalty program, letting customers earn $2 discounts instead of free Footlong sandwiches. The change, taking place in March 2018, is part of Subway’s plan to lure people back to the sandwich chain. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Subway is selling fake tuna sandwiches to its customers, according to a recent lawsuit filed in California that accuses the company of fraud, intentional misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

The lawsuit accused Subway of using “anything but tuna” in its tuna sandwiches. One of the plaintiffs claims to have collected and tested in labs several samples of the sandwich across California, only to find “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna”.

Subway describes its tuna sandwich as “freshly baked bread” layered with “flaked tuna blended with creamy mayo then topped with your choice of crisp, fresh veggies”, a claim that will be soon be subjected to the scrutiny of a court of law.

“We found that the ingredients were not tuna and not fish,” Shalini Dogra, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, told The Washington Post.

The biggest franchise fast-food chain company in the world, Subway is no stranger to customer lawsuits. It was sued in 2013 over a slogan the company used to market its signature delicacy — “footlong” sandwiches. An Australian teenager posted a Facebook photo showing that the footlong sandwich he bought was only 11 inches long, not 12. The case was eventually thrown out of court when the plaintiffs tried to settle.

In Ireland, the Supreme Court ruled in another case that the company’s sandwich loaves did not meet the country’s definition of bread.

Like many restaurants and chains, Subway has been rattled by the effects of the covid-19 pandemic in the past year forcing the company to close, permanently or temporarily, as many as 10 percent of its U.S. restaurants.

Subway was also among some big businesses, including McDonald’s and hotel chains, that received a total of $15.6 billion from the federal government Paycheck Protection Program, which was supposed to help small businesses.

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Some 4,278 Subways are said to have received PPP funds.

In total, the Small Business Administration (SBA) identified 75,746 franchise businesses that received loans, amounting to 1.5 percent of the 5.2 million loans issued between April 3 and Aug. 8, 2020.

Subway insists its tuna is legit and comes from fish caught in the wild rather than farm-raised. The lawsuit does not say what the sandwich filling is made of. A defendant said it’s something that has been “blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna,” Daily Beast reported.