What's in a Subway tuna sandwich? DNA tests reveal SHOCKING results

Lab analysis reveals Subway's beloved sandwiches might not contain tuna at all, but something else

                            What's in a Subway tuna sandwich? DNA tests reveal SHOCKING results
A tuna sandwich from Subway is displayed on June 22, 2021 in San Anselmo, California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If you are a fan of Subway's tuna sandwiches, it might be time to rethink your cravings. A shocking report shows that the sandwiches might not contain tuna at all after DNA tests failed to find the meat in "60 inches" of sandwiches from three Los Angeles Subway branches. 

The news arises after the fast-food chain was sued by two Alameda County residents in January for the same assertions. The duo claimed that Subway's tuna sandwiches didn't contain any tuna, sparking a meme fest on social media. Subway is far from the only one facing damming allegations. In June, an old claim that McDonald's was using pesticides in its fries went viral thanks to TikTok users. In February, it emerged that Dunkin Donuts was throwing away food that wasn't sold, leading to one employee being fired. 


Dozens of Dunkin’ Donuts thown out at closing time in shocking video: 'It could feed many homeless'

Burger King dubbed 'sexist' for 'women belong in the kitchen' post as Women's Day scholarship campaign backfires

While fast-food joints have always been subject to scandal and scrutiny, Subway's case goes beyond the normal. Not only is the brand facing a social media boycott and trolling, but a major court case that could now be decided based on the new report. It was published on June 21 by The New York Times and indicates that the company may be hiding a big secret. 

A worker at a Subway sandwich shop makes a tuna sandwich on June 22, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

'Anything by tuna'

Before we get to the NYT report, here's a quick refresher on how it came to be. On January 21, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin sued Subway alleging that their tuna sandwiches "are made from anything but tuna." The lawsuit says, "the Products are 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." 

Subway hit back at those allegations, slamming the lawsuit. "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," a spokesperson said. Another spokesperson said, "These claims are meritless. Tuna is one of our most popular sandwiches. Our restaurants receive 100 percent wild-caught tuna, mix it with mayonnaise and serve on a freshly made sandwich to our guests." 

The NYT decided to take matters into its own hands and purchases several sandwiches from Los Angeles stores. The reporter then sent the tuna to a food testing lab, which delivered shocking results. "No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA," the lab said in an email. "Therefore, we cannot identify the species." Bottom line? Subway's tuna doesn't appear to be tuna.

A spokesperson for the lab offered a more detailed explanation. "There’s two conclusions," he said. "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." However, the NYT report did mention that it can be hard to do a DNA analysis on a sample that's already cooked, so that could be the reason for the results. In February, Inside Edition did a similar analysis and found that all its samples from Subway were made from tuna. 

Cans of Kirkland brand albacore tune is displayed at a Costco store on December 12, 2019, in Novato, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

'They've had enough chances'

The news was quick to spread on social media, with the mandatory trolls following. Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, "It’s time to wrap things up on Subway. They’ve had enough chances." Journalist Dan Ruther tweeted, "There is about as much courage DNA in the Republican Party as there is tuna DNA in a Subway sandwich." One user asked, "first of all... people are still eating subway? and... people are going to subway for "fish"???" Another joked, "To be fair, if you ordered tuna at Subway, that’s kind of on you…"






While the scandal is going on, Dhanowa and Amin have since changed their stand. In June, the duo changed their allegations from "anything but tuna" to "100% sustainably caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna". That appears to be a more precise allegation since Subway claims it uses only skipjack and yellowfin tuna for its sandwiches. Until the verdict is given, you might want to be more cautious of what you eat.