Subway is attempting to set the record straight about its much-debated tuna again — this time with an informational website called SubwayTunaFacts.com.
When you visit the website, you're greeted with a photo of the company's tuna sandwich and a headline that reads "Subway Tuna Is Real Tuna."
"That’s right. The truth is, Subway uses wild-caught skipjack tuna regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A favorite among sub lovers, our tuna is and has always been high-quality, premium and 100% real," the graphic reads.
This is just the latest chapter in the ongoing Subway tuna saga that first began in January when two customers sued the restaurant, claiming that its tuna sandwiches and wraps aren't actually made with real tuna. Subway denied the claims and decided to offer a deal (with the cheeky promo code "ITSREAL") on the menu items the following week so customers could try it for themselves.
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SubwayTunaFacts.com includes a "Tuna Q&A" with frequently asked questions about the restaurant's tuna, including an update on the pending lawsuit and information about the company's tuna supply chain. The site also reveals that the restaurant tests its tuna regularly "to ensure it meets Subway’s stringent quality and safety requirements."
When asked what inspired the company to create the site, a Subway spokesperson shared the following statement with TODAY Food via email: "We launched SubwayTunaFacts.com to help set forth the facts and clarify any misunderstandings related to our tuna."
The new site also addresses the June New York Times report that further complicated the tuna saga. In case you missed it, the newspaper tested tuna samples from three Los Angeles Subway shops and revealed that the results showed “no amplifiable tuna DNA.” In other words, the lab couldn't identify any of the five tuna species it tested for. The paper also reported that the Food and Drug Administration lists 15 species of fish that can be labeled tuna.
The same month, the two plaintiffs from the January lawsuit ended up scaling back their claims in new court filings and now claim that Subway misleads its customers by referring to its product as “100% sustainably caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna” or “100% tuna."
When asked about the test and the new website, a Subway spokesperson stood by the restaurant's claims that it only serves 100% wild-caught, cooked tuna, offering TODAY the following statement:
"The reality is some DNA testing methods are simply not a reliable way to identify denatured proteins, like cooked tuna. When samples were sent to reputable testing labs that have specialized capabilities to properly test denatured proteins, positive DNA results showed that Subway tuna is real tuna."
Addressing the Times' report, SubwayTunaFacts.com suggests that that newspaper "commissioned a test that couldn’t detect tuna DNA in their sample," adding that "this is not unusual when testing cooked tuna."
In an interview with CNN this week, Subway CEO John Chidsey mentioned the new website, saying it would help break down all the science for customers.
"You can see every bit of the story there, and I think that will obviously put the facts out there and clarify all these misconceptions," he said.
Chidsey also discussed Subway's newly revamped menu, which features nearly a dozen new or improved ingredients and 10 updated or original sandwiches. The tuna the brand swears by won't be changing, though.
"We're very proud of our tuna, so I think that's really the end of the story," he told CNN.
Chidsey went so far as to call Subway's tuna sandwich "one of my two favorite sandwiches," adding that the Turkey Cali Fresh is his other go-to option.
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