Sandwich chain Subway has launched a website to defend its tuna sandwich following a New York Times investigation that found that there was no tuna DNA in the company's product.
The website, dubbed subwaytunafacts.com, states that "Subway tuna is REAL tuna."
"That’s right. The truth is, Subway uses wild-caught skipjack tuna regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A favorite among sub lovers, our tuna is and has always been high-quality, premium and 100% real," the site reads.
The website also has sections titled "Tuna fact check," "Tuna Q&A" and "Subway tuna supply chain."
The New York Times investigation regarding the popular Subway sandwich was prompted after The Washington Post reported in January that the company was facing a class-action lawsuit in California claiming that the product is "completely bereft of tuna as an ingredient.”
The company vehemently denied the allegations to the Times. “There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.
"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 and enjoyed by our guests.”
However, New York Times journalist Julia Carmel found through a PCR DNA test of California tuna sandwiches purchased at Subway that either the meat was too highly processed to be identified or there was no evidence of tuna in the sample at all.
The PCR test was primed to identify one of five tuna species that are used for consumption.
However, Subway's website reads, "What actually happened is that the New York Times commissioned a test that couldn’t detect tuna DNA in their sample. According to scientific experts, this is not unusual when testing cooked tuna and it absolutely doesn’t mean the sample that was tested contained zero tuna."
The company also claims that it regularly tests the tuna that it uses for its sandwiches.
"We test our tuna regularly to ensure it meets Subway’s stringent quality and safety requirements. And, of course, we have to comply with FDA regulations. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Applied Food Technologies is one of the only labs in the country with the ability to test broken-down fish DNA, which makes it more accurate in testing processed tuna," the website reads.
"AFT conducted 30 tests on 150 pounds of Subway’s tuna for Inside Edition and confirmed yellowfin and/or skipjack tuna in every sample."
The website also answers questions about how customers can be sure they are purchasing real tuna when they order a Subway tuna sandwich, laying out the quality control mechanisms it says are in place to ensure quality.