Subway said Tuesday the report was "absolutely false and misleading" and that its chicken is 100 percent white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to stores as a finished, cooked product.
When a Canadian news program tested the chicken sandwiches at several fast-food restaurants last week, they got a surprising result from a Subway sandwich. What you would also most likely expect is that the chicken is made of chicken, right? The sandwich chain's results were an outlier: Other fast food chains, such as McDonald's, were found to have 80 percent or more chicken in their samples (seasonings account for the less-than-100-percent results).
Earlier this week, CBC reported that the lab found that Subway's chicken was only about half animal protein. According to a recent study done on the DNA of Subway's chicken by CBC Marketplace, you might not be eating completely what you had hoped.
"The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers", said Suzanne Greco, Subway president and chief executive, in a statement issued to the Washington Post Wednesday night. The study said Subway's sweet onion chicken terriyaki strips were even less, coming in at 42.8 percent. However the ingredient list it forwarded to CBC News lists soy protein as a constituent of the chicken.
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"These findings are consistent with the low levels of soy protein that we add with the spices and marinade to help keep the products moist and flavorful", Subway said. It cited Robert Hanner, a University of Guelph biologist, who said that although DNA "cannot be taken as exact mass ratios in the product", the genetic material could serve as a proxy for amounts of soy in the meat.
Subway has shared the results of the independent tests with CBC and the lab that conducted the test. Subway is demanding a retraction and an apology.
Subway says one test for the presence or absence of a species showed that the protein was chicken, and a second determined the amount of soy content.