Lawsuit alleges Subway’s tuna “made from anything but tuna”

Subway tuna sandwich
Photo: picture alliance (Getty Images)

Purchasing fast food meat products always involves a sort of “wink-wink, nudge-nudge.” As in, “I’d like eight chicken nuggets that absolutely contain pure chicken and nothing else.” Wink-wink. “I’ll take a taco full of 100% all-American beef.” Nudge-nudge. We all know fast food meat is dubious, but some Subway customers are currently making a stink about it. A tuna-scented stink.


The Washington Post reports that 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.” According to a recent lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, that’s a load of hooey. The complaint alleges Subway’s alleged tuna is “made from anything but tuna,” and consumers are demanding damages.

The Post reports that the lawsuit is based on independent lab tests of “multiple samples” taken from Subway locations in California. The tests revealed that Subway’s tuna is actually “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna.” No word yet on the contents of these “various concoctions,” but it clearly ain’t tuna.

The plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit are suing Subway for fraud, intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and several other claims, arguing that they were “tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing.” I understand wanting to know what exactly you’re eating—but if it’s that important to you, maybe don’t buy a tuna sandwich from Subway?

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.


Platypus Man

I call bullshit. This reminds me of the lawsuit claiming that Taco Bell wasn’t using beef in their tacos, which ended up being immediately withdrawn because they only wanted to know what was in them and lied about their “proof”. Taco Bell had to spend millions on damage control, which may also have been part of the plan. ( (that link was supposed to go here, if it’s not then blame Kinja, not me)

Subway is the biggest fast food chain in the world. I’m not saying that their food is the best, but to claim they’re using “anything but tuna” without specifying what your “tests” said it actually is strikes me as someone just hoping to stir up similar trouble.

Subway isn’t stupid, if they were using non-tuna in their tuna sandwiches they would know they would get caught, have to pay an enormous fee, spend a ton on PR and damage control, and still then switch to using actual tuna. It just wouldn’t make financial sense. If real tuna were so expensive that they didn’t want to use it they could just call it the “Seafood Delite” or some other meaningless name. Or really they could just drop the sandwich entirely, I can’t imagine it’s among their biggest sellers.

For the record I’m also not saying that it’s only tuna, like I’m sure there are fillers in there, but to suggest there’s no tuna at all is absurd.