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Fishy Business: Lawsuit Alleges That Subway Tuna Sandwiches Contains 'Anything but Tuna'

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Last Updated: January 30, 2021, 09:47 IST

Subway sandwiches | Image credit: Reuters

Subway sandwiches | Image credit: Reuters

A recent lawsuit in the United States has accused the popular fast food chain Subway of fraud, claiming its signature tuna sandwiches contain 'absolutely no tuna' in them.

A lawsuit has been filed in US District Court against fast-food chain Subway for alleged misrepresentation of its tuna sandwich. The plaintiffs Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, both residents of Almeda County of Bay Area, are suing Subway for fraud, intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and other claims under federal and state laws.

The duo has claimed that they have performed an independent lab test of multiple samples of tuna taken from different Subway locations in California and the results proved that the said ‘tuna’ is a ‘mixture of various concoction that does not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants (Subway) to imitate the appearance of tuna.

The American food restaurant chain has denied the allegations and said that the claims are meritless. The Subway spokesperson, while in conversation with Daily Mail said that the tuna is real and from fish caught in the wild and that there is no truth to the allegations in the complaint filed in California.

According to a report in The Washington Post, Shalini Dogra, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs refused to say what exactly the lab tests revealed or what the ‘tuna’ was made of. In a mail to The Washington Post, it is reported that she wrote that the main ingredient is made of anything but tuna and they found that ‘ingredients were not tuna and not fish.’

The company spokesperson clarified that Subway delivers 100 percent cooked tuna to its restaurants which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to their customers. He also stated that the tuna sandwich is one of the Subway’s most popular products because of its taste and quality. He added that these are ‘baseless accusations which threaten to damage the franchise, small business owners who work tirelessly to uphold the high standards that Subway sets for all of its products.’

The spokesperson alleged that the lawsuit is part of a trend in which the plaintiffs’ attorneys are targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves in that space and further added that the lawsuit constitutes a reckless and improper attack on Subway’s brand, goodwill and on the livelihood of its California franchises.

The plaintiffs hope to get their claim certified as a class action which would open the case to thousands of Subway customers to join the legal action. Anyone wishing to join would have purchased a tuna sandwich or tuna wrap after January 21, 2017.

They also argue that they ‘were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing’ based on Subway’s labelling, packaging and advertising.

The plaintiffs also argue that Subway is ‘saving substantial sums of money in manufacturing the products because the fabricated ingredient they use in the place of tuna costs less money.’

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages as well as attorney’s fees. They also demand that Subway ends its alleged practice of mislabelling its tuna sandwiches and surrender profits earned from the practice.

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first published:January 30, 2021, 09:47 IST
last updated:January 30, 2021, 09:47 IST