Lawsuit Alleges Subway's Tuna Isn't Actually Tuna

Plaintiffs claim they've been reeled in by scam, don't want to let Subway off the hook.

Subway: some swear by its sandwiches, and others could get by just fine without them. Many would describe the chain's offerings as thoroughly inoffensive, but at least two California plaintiffs in US District Court seem to have a pretty big beef with the company's "tuna."

That's according to a lawsuit recently filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Specifically, it alleges that the tuna Subway uses is, in fact, not tuna at all. The two plaintiffs claim they "were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing," misled by Subway's labeling and marketing.

As The Washington Post notes, these allegations of Subway's seafood switcheroo aren't informed by a mere hunch, but supposedly confirmed through lab tests of "multiple samples" pulled from California locations of the popular sandwich outpost. While the complaint doesn't go into detail about what exactly is in the so-called "tuna" instead, an email one of the plaintiffs' attorneys sent to the Post asserts that "the ingredients were not tuna and not fish."

In the minds of the plaintiffs, Subway's trick "tuna" is nothing more than a cynical profit-maximizing measure, allegedly roping in customers after tuna's health benefits while "saving substantial sums of money in manufacturing the products because the fabricated ingredient they use in the place of tuna costs less money."

Subway restaurant in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey
SOPA Images via Getty

For their part, Subway argues that the lawsuit's somewhat bizarre claim is completely without merit. The company told the Post that their tuna isn't just real, but wild caught. Furthermore, nutritional information confirmed by Subway lists the ingredients of their tuna salad as flaked tuna in brine, mayo, and an additive meant to "protect flavor."

It's not the first bizarre (and usually frivolous) lawsuit Subway has stared down over the years. Back in 2013, a class-action suit alleged that its $5 footlong didn't measure a full 12 inches. More recently, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that Subway's bread did not, technically speaking, meet the legal definition of bread.

Though the Californian plaintiffs in this case hope that others can eventually join them in a class-action suit, it's perhaps just as if not more likely that the suit will be dismissed. In the interim, the decision to order or not order seafood from a mass-market sandwich shop is up to you.

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