According to allegations raised in a class action lawsuit filed against the owners of the Subway fast food chain, “chicken” used in some of it’s subs and sandwiches are actually only made up of about half real chicken meat.
The complaint (PDF) was filed this month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticuty, seeking class action status for all consumers who purchased Subway oven roasted chicken sandwiches and sweet onion teriyaki chicken strips, indicating that the meat contains about 50% commercial preservatives and fillers.
Subway allegedly misleads consumers into believing they are purchasing chicken at bargain prices, marketing that the chicken sandwiches are “surprisingly only three bucks.” However, the lawsuit indicates that the sub shop fails to disclose the other ingredients in its “chicken”, which reduce the costs.
“Defendant’s schemes to defraud Plaintiff and other members of the proposed Class consist of systemic and continuing practices of disseminating false and misleading information via advertising, marketing, its website, and menu intended to trick unsuspecting customers, into believing they are purchasing chicken for their money, rather than Sandwiches and Chicken Strips containing a multitude of ingredients,” according to the Subway class action lawsuit.
The claim was filed after a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) investigation found that Subway chicken only about 53.6% chicken DNA, while its chicken strips contain only about 42.8% chicken DNA. The majority of the remainder is made up of soy, according to the investigation.
Subway denied the allegations with a press release on its website, indicating that independent labs had confirmed that the products were about 100% chicken, with less than 1% made up of soy protein in the seasoning, spices and marinade.
“Recently, a Canadian TV show (CBC’s Marketplace) ran a report about quick-serve restaurant chicken sandwiches. It used factually incorrect data to suggest the chicken SUBWAY serves might not be all chicken,” the statement indicates. “The claims made in the story are false and misleading. We use only chicken – with added marinade, spices and seasoning.”
The company claims its chicken is free of artificial flavors, preservatives and coloring and made from chickens raised without antibiotics.
The lawsuit presents claims of violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, violation of Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment.