Report: No tuna DNA found in Subway’s tuna sandwiches


FILE – In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 file photo, the Subway logo is seen on a soft drink cup next to a sandwich at a restaurant in Londonderry, N.H.. Ireland’s Supreme Court has ruled that bread sold by the fast food chain Subway contains so much sugar that it cannot be legally defined as bread. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A lab test of tuna sold at Subway restaurants yielded “no identifiable tuna DNA,” according to a report by The New York Times.

To conduct the test, a NYT reporter bought more than 60 sandwiches at Subway restaurants in the Los Angeles area, then packed the meat into Ziploc bags and stuffed them in a styrofoam shipping container with ice packs.

The paper then paid $500 for a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, to determine if Subway’s tuna included one of five different tuna species.

The lab later returned results that found “no amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample,” the paper reported. “Therefore, we cannot identify the species.”

The Times said a spokesperson for the lab, which chose not to be named, said there were two possible outcomes for the results: “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,” the lab spokesperson said.

Subway responded to a reporter from FOX Television Stations, saying, “This report supports and reflects the position that Subway has taken in relation to a meritless lawsuit filed in California and with respect to DNA testing as a means to identify cooked proteins. DNA testing is simply not a reliable way to identify denatured proteins, like Subway’s tuna, which was cooked before it was tested.

“Unfortunately, various media outlets have confused the inability of DNA testing to confirm a specific protein with a determination that the protein is not present. The testing that the New York Times report references does not show that there is not tuna in Subway’s tuna. All it says is that the testing could not confirm tuna, which is what one would expect from a DNA test of denatured proteins,” Subway representatives said.

“The fact is Subway restaurants serve 100% wild-caught, cooked tuna, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests,” the statement said in conclusion.

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