Subway: Tests show only ‘trace’ soy in chicken

Subway says lab tests it commissioned show its chicken had only trace amounts of soy.

That comes after a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. show reported that tests showed only about half the DNA from Subway chicken samples was from chicken. The rest was mostly from soy.

After calling the report “false and misleading,” Subway followed up by saying it sent chicken to two labs and the results from both found soy protein to be less than 1 percent of the samples.

It said it performed different types of tests than the one done by the CBC. Subway says one test for the presence or absence of a species showed that the protein was chicken, and a second determined the amount of soy content.

The CBC stood by its report, saying it tested multiple Subway chicken samples from various locations in southern Ontario. It said the tests were done by independent and credible experts, and that “Subway has yet to provide any explanation for the DNA test results obtained by CBC.”

The CBC said that DNA tests don’t reveal the exact amount of chicken in a product, but are a good indicator of its proportion of animal DNA. It also noted that it had reached out to Subway in early February, but that the company “chose not to provide answers beyond saying that the results were ‘false’.”

Subway says soy is an ingredient it uses in the marinade and seasoning for its chicken and issued the following statement:

“Two independent laboratories testing Subway® chicken have found that alleged test results broadcast on Feb. 24 by the Canadian Television show, Marketplace, were false and misleading. Test results from laboratories in Canada and the U.S. clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of CBC Marketplace. Subway representatives immediately contacted the program and the lab that conducted the tests to inquire about the methodology and the testing process. The program and the lab declined to engage with except to share the results. In response, Subway sent samples of the Canadian products that Marketplace claimed contained 50% soy protein to Maxxam Analytics in Canada and Elisa Technologies, Inc., in Florida. The results from both labs found soy protein below 10 ppm, or less than 1%, in all tested samples. These findings are consistent with the low levels of soy protein that we add with the spices and marinade to help keep the products moist and flavorful.  The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers. The safety, quality and integrity of our food is the foundation of our business. That’s why we took extra caution to test and retest the chicken. Our customers can  have confidence in our food. The allegation that our chicken is only 50% chicken is 100% wrong,” said SUBWAY President and CEO Suzanne Greco. Subway Chief of Food Safety Quality said, ” Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated, cooked and delivered to our restaurants. The chicken has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Through years of testing, we’ve never seen results like the program claimed.”  Subway has shared the results of the independent tests with Marketplace and the lab that conducted the flawed test. The company is demanding a retraction and apology.

Read more, here.

**This article was updated on March 3,2017 with the statement issued from Subway**