Inside Edition: Subway’s tuna is real tuna, lab tests show it has tuna DNA

We’re on Inside Edition’s mailing list. They often send questionable stories like “Inside Edition Tracks Down Mystery Man Who Flew Hoverboard Over Times Square,” and “Dad Whose Windshield Was Bashed In With Baseball Bat As Kids Watched Speaks Out.” This time they absolutely delivered though. As you may recall, there’s a controversy over whether Subway’s tuna has actual tuna in it. Earlier this year they were sued in California because their tuna subs allegedly don’t contain real tuna or even fish. Then the NY Times ran an investigation in which they sent Subway’s tuna to a lab which found “no amplifiable tuna DNA” in the samples they were sent. The report from the lab used by the NYT concluded that it’s possible that the tuna is “so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification.” Well Inside Edition hired their own lab which is experienced in testing fish DNA. They found tuna DNA in Subway tuna and the lab used by Inside Edition says that they’re experts in this and that it can be too tricky for other labs. Take that NY Times! You just got owned by Inside Edition. This is actually Inside Edition’s second test of Subway’s tuna, but I’m just hearing about their earlier test now. Here’s more and you can watch the segment here.

Recently, The New York Times published a story saying it had hired a lab to conduct its own tests of subway tuna sandwiches and found “no tuna DNA.” Following the report, Inside Edition decided it was time, once again, to conduct our own independent test.

Investigative producer Katie Taylor went to three subway locations in New Jersey. At each location, she purchased a plain tuna sandwich. Then she packed all three sandwiches on ice and shipped them overnight express to Applied Food Technologies in Alachua, Florida for testing.

The DNA results came back and showed that all three of the sandwiches tested by Inside Edition are really tuna.

LeeAnn Applewhite, Applied Food Technologies president, confirmed to Inside Edition that they did a DNA test and found tuna in all three of the sandwiches.

“And you found real tuna in all of the samples?” Inside Edition Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero asked Applewhite.

“That is correct. We did,” Applewhite said.

“Are you sure?” Guerrero asked.

“100% positive,” Applewhite said.

The New York Times would not identify the lab they used, but told Inside Edition they stick by their reporting. Our expert suspects their lab doesn’t have the proper technology to extract DNA from tuna.

[From Inside Edition]

As mentioned in the excerpt, Inside Edition’s lab expert states that the NY Times’ lab probably “doesn’t have the proper technology to extract DNA from tuna.” The Times wouldn’t even identify the lab they used, so I trust Inside Edition. Given the quality of the Times’ reporting the past few years, that’s not a controversial take.

I had a tuna sub from Subway on Saturday night. I was traveling and staying in a small town without a lot of options. Their tuna is good! I love a good tuna sandwich and while it occurred to me that it’s not real tuna, it still tastes good and it’s not like it’s harmful to you. Now that I know it’s real tuna I’ll continue to eat it without a problem. I also won’t subscribe to the NYT anytime soon.



Photos via Instagram

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17 Responses to “Inside Edition: Subway’s tuna is real tuna, lab tests show it has tuna DNA”

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  1. Hel says:

    This whole Subway tuna saga has surprisingly more twists and turns than a Nolan movie.

  2. AmyB says:

    Yes, but read between the lines. Inside Edition found “tuna DNA” in the samples LOL

    That doesn’t mean all that stuff in the sandwich was TUNA, just sayin’

    I was never a big fan of the tuna sandwich at Subway, and this whole back and forth story certainly won’t make me want one, that is for sure haha!

    • Golly Gee says:

      That was a red flag for me too. Take one part tuna and mix it with 20 parts “mystery product“.

  3. keroppi says:

    Subway hasn’t had this many headlines since Jared.

  4. Lena says:

    Funny that inside edition owns NYT. Subway needs to play this up, especially since so many people hate NYT. I agree with you CB. It’s something that’s not going to harm you so if you like a tuna sandwich enjoy!

  5. K-Peace says:

    I figured that Subway wouldn’t be so dishonest and bold to claim that it’s 100% real wild-caught tuna, if there wasn’t even any tuna in it. With things like that, eventually you’ll get caught, and that’s the kind of thing that could ruin the whole business.

  6. iconoclast59 says:

    I first read about the Subway tuna controversy on another blog, and I remember commenters there saying things like, “Wait a minute, I worked at Subway in HS, and I remember opening these big-azz cans that said ‘100% tuna.'”

    I know it’s become popular to slag on Subway, but I like them. They’ve expanded their ingredients and choices of condiments. More recently, I’ve noticed that their bread no longer has that distinctive aroma that a lot of people used to complain about. Their online app makes ordering way more convenient and still allows you to customize your order. The people at my local Subway reward me for being a regular by giving me a free cookie every time I go there.

  7. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the Subway guy in the header pic is cute? 😂

  8. Astrid says:

    The Subway tuna sandwich offerings near me are always a soupy gloppy mess, which looks very unappetizing.

  9. Cj says:

    How is this still going on?

  10. Jules says:

    This all sounds way too fishy. Definitely not going to trust a gossip news channel on this one. Sounds like Subway and Inside Edition got their own inside contract going.

  11. janinedm says:

    I dug up a VICE article from when the story broke. TL;DR version: while the author wasn’t going to attest to whether there’s tuna in Subway’s tuna, tuna is very cheap and lawyers can make a lot of money off of a class action lawsuit even if it’s without merit. If they can generate enough bad press, they can even force an innocent party to settle.

    • Golly Gee says:

      Interesting read. The lawsuit is also only specifying southern California, so lab results anywhere else really don’t count for anything.

  12. Gomez says:

    I always figured their tuna was the fish equivalent of a hot dog— just a bunch of stuff mixed together.