Updated Mar. 1, 2017, at 11:45 a.m. EST: A Subway representative reached out with the following statement: “The accusations made by CBC Marketplace about the content of our chicken are absolutely false and misleading. Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product.
We have advised them of our strong objections. We do not know how they produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction. Producing high quality food for our customers is our highest priority. This report is wrong and it must be corrected.”
Subway has been through a lot in the last few years between the drama with their spokesperson, Jared Fogle, and the yoga mat cleaner chemical reportedly used in their famous sandwich bread. But the latest gory news may be even harder to swallow.
A recent Canadian study tested the DNA of Subway’s oven-roasted chicken patty and discovered it’s actually only about 50 percent chicken. Even more shocking: That number was on the high end of the chicken that was tested. The Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki was less than 43 percent chicken. This, of course, begs the question: What’s in the other half of that “chicken” patty? Do we even want to know?
Well, the DNA test suggests that the majority of the rest of Subway’s “chicken” is actually soy.
A spokesperson for Subway Canada reportedly made a statement disputing the claim: “SUBWAY Canada cannot confirm the veracity of the results of the lab testing you had conducted. However, we are concerned by the alleged findings you cite with respect to the proportion of soy content. Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1% or less of soy protein. We use this ingredient in these products as a means to help stabilize the texture and moisture. All of our chicken items are made from 100% white meat chicken, which is marinated, oven roasted and grilled. We tested our chicken products recently for nutritional and quality attributes and found it met our food quality standards. We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.”
Matt Harnden, DNA researcher at Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory, led the study that issued the controversial findings, and the sandwiches were actually tested alongside chicken sandwiches from a handful of other fast food chains, which fared a lot better. For example, McDonald’s chicken scored around 85 percent, Chipotle 87 percent and Wendy’s nearly 90 percent. Good to know?
Of course, we prefer our chicken sandwiches to be all chicken. We’re weird like that.