US fast food franchise Subway is facing a lawsuit and the possibility of having to pay damages to a customer for alleged fraud over its tuna products. A federal judge said Subway could be sued for allegedly using other species of fish, chicken, pork and cattle instead of the advertised “100% tuna.”
Despite Subway’s protests, California judge Jon Tigar partially denied his request to dismiss the case, giving Nilima Amin a chance to try to prove his claims.
The class action lawsuit was filed in January 2021. Amin said tests had “repeatedly” shown that Subway made its tuna product without tuna. However, in June 2021, she amended her petition to instead focus on whether Subway was serving “100% sustainably caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna”, as advertised.
She referred to tests at UCLA’s Barber Lab which found that 19 of 20 samples contained “no detectable tuna DNA sequence”, while all 20 had chicken DNA, 11 of the of pig DNA and 7 of bovine DNA.
However, Subway has repeatedly championed its tuna products on various online and offline platforms. According to Subway’s attorneys, traces (or DNA) of other ingredients found in its tuna products may be due to “cross-contact while making sandwiches or eggs in mayonnaise.”
Business Insider quoted a Subway spokesperson as saying, “We are disappointed that the court felt it could not dismiss plaintiffs’ irresponsible and improper lawsuit at this stage. However, we are confident that Subway will prevail when the court will have an opportunity to consider all the evidence.”
(With contributions from Business Insider and Reuters)
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