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Subway CEO defends controversial tuna sandwich: 'Follow the science'
Subway CEO addresses tuna controversy: ‘We 100% stand behind our tuna’
Subway Restaurants CEO John Chidsey explains why he is defending the company’s tuna and why it was ‘the one thing we didn’t touch’ in the menu revamp.
Subway Restaurants CEO John Chidsey addressed the tuna controversy on "Mornings with Maria" on Tuesday, saying sandwiches contain "100% tuna" and that the company stands behind the product after a lab report found there’s no actual tuna DNA in its sandwiches and wraps.
The New York Times had 60 inches of Subway tuna sandwiches from three different restaurants in Los Angeles lab tested after the chain was accused in a lawsuit reported earlier this year, alleging the fish is made from "a mixture of various concoctions," first reported by the Washington Post.
The tuna was frozen and sent out to the lab, which determined "no amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA. Therefore, we cannot identify the species," according to the Times.
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The lab conducted a PCR test to see if Subway’s tuna featured one of five varying tuna species, the New York Times reported, explaining there are 15 species of fish that can be labeled tuna, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List.
The lab determined two potential reasons why no tuna was detected in the sample, saying, "One it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification … Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna," the newspaper noted.
Experts told the Times that when tuna is cooked, its protein breaks down, making it hard to identify, so the lab results may not be accurate, according to the Times.
Chidsey brought up that point on Tuesday, telling host Maria Bartiromo, "if you follow the science, once tuna is cooked its DNA becomes denatured, which means you can’t tell once the product’s been cooked."
"Even the New York Times said that in its article," he continued.