Subway Is Tripling Down On '100%' Real Tuna Claims

Subway keeps running into legal troubles and customer pushback, and the fast food chain is busy defending its brand and ingredients. The company still has the tuna drama hanging over its head, but it's not the first time Subway has been taken to court over its advertising claims.

In 2020, Subway bread was ruled as "not bread" by the Irish Supreme Court. Ireland has rules for what constitutes bread — which is tax exempt — and Subway bread doesn't qualify for the exemption because of the amount of sugar present (via NPR). According to Ireland's Value-Added Tax Act of 1972, "tax-exempt bread can't have sugar, fat, and bread improver exceed 2% of the weight of flour." Subway's bread has five times the sugar content than what the law sees as constituting bread.

And remember the super catchy $5 Footlong jingle? It turns out that was misleading. In 2013, a court found that Subway's advertised Footlong subs were not, in fact, a foot long, but sometimes as much as an inch too short (via Reuters). The suit was filed after a viral social media post showed a Subway Footlong next to a ruler, coming in at 11 inches. The lawsuit sought damages and wanted Subway to change its practices to either ensure it was serving a full Footlong or stop advertising them. In the end, Subway did start measuring its sandwiches, but the suit itself was dismissed. These days, while people may have given up the Footlong fight, but they're definitely not forgetting about Subway's ever-controversial tuna.

Subway has launched a website refuting the tuna lawsuit claims

The Subway tuna saga continues, and with it, the fast food chain's full-throated defense of its products, especially the canned fish. First filed in early 2021, a lawsuit alleged that the tuna in Subway's sandwiches was not tuna at all, but "a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna." The plaintiffs decided not to reveal the results of their laboratory testing of 20 different tuna samples, and the lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

Then, the lawsuit was brought back when the plaintiffs decided to reveal the results of their tests, which found that all samples contained traces of other proteins like chicken, pork, and beef. A judge allowed this lawsuit to proceed because the central question — whether Subway's tuna is actually "100% tuna" — remains unanswered (via NPR). Subway has consistently rejected claims that its tuna contains any mystery ingredients. If it does, though, it would raise issues for customers who avoid meat for ethical, dietary, or religious reasons.

Fast-forward to November of 2022, and the fast food chain is still insisting that its tuna is "high-quality, wild-caught 100% tuna...strictly regulated by the FDA." During an appearance on Yahoo! Finance, Subway's North American president Trevor Haynes insisted that the tuna "is nothing but 100% fantastic tuna" and will continue to come from the company's regular supplier. Subway has even launched a website,, where customers can find all the information they desire about Subway's tuna product.