One lawsuit, originally filed in January 2021 by Oakland-area resident Nilima Amin, claims that Subway‘s tuna products are “partially or entirely devoid of tuna as an ingredient” and “contain other species of fish, animal products, or miscellaneous products“, besides this fish.
In the face of the accusations, Subway has pointed out that anything other than tuna in its tuna products is likely the result of cross-contact when one of its employees prepares a sandwich.
“While Subway’s explanations may be correct, it is also possible that these allegations refer to ingredients that a reasonable consumer would not expect to find in a tuna product”, US District Judge Jon Tigar.
The judge also said the plaintiff, who claimed to have ordered Subway’s tuna products more than 100 times between 2013 and 2019, could try to prove that the salads, sandwiches and wraps are “completely devoid” of tuna.
1. Subway can be sued over claims that it is misleading consumers about its tuna sandwiches, a US judge has ruled.
US District Judge Jon Tigar said this includes claims that its tuna products are not “100% tuna”, and contain other fish species, chicken, pork and cattle. pic.twitter.com/L98cini2de
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“Subway serves 100% tuna. We are disappointed that the Court felt it could not dismiss the plaintiffs’ reckless and improper lawsuit at this stage“, Subway spokesman Carsen Anderson said.
“However, we are confident that Subway will prevail when the Court has an opportunity to consider all the evidence”, he noted.
The lawsuit was based on the findings of a marine biologist who analyzed 20 tuna samples from Subways in southern California. Tests found that 19 samples contained “undetectable tuna DNA sequences” while all 20 had chicken DNA, 11 had pig DNA and seven had beef DNA, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit seeks damages for fraud and violation of California consumer protection laws. The judge’s ruling came just one day before Subway’s promotion for its new menu, in which it will give away up to 1 million sandwiches.