Subway Calls Lawsuit Claiming There's No Real Tuna in Their Tuna Sandwiches and Wraps 'Baseless'

The suit alleges that Subway's tuna is actually made with "a mixture of various concoctions"

A "Tuna Sandwich" from the fast food chain "Subway"
Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Subway is being accused of serving fake tuna in its sandwiches and wraps in a new lawsuit.

Last week, two California residents — Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin — filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that the ingredient being touted as tuna within the chain's sandwiches and wraps actually contains no tuna at all, the Washington Post reported.

The suit alleges that the fish is actually made with "a mixture of various concoctions," per the outlet.

In a statement given to PEOPLE, a Subway spokesperson responded to the suit, saying, "There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California."

"Subway delivers 100% 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. The taste and quality of our tuna make it one of Subway's most popular products and these baseless accusations threaten to damage our franchisees, small business owners who work tirelessly to uphold the high standards that Subway sets for all of its products, including its tuna," the chain said. "Given the facts, the lawsuit constitutes a reckless and improper attack on Subway's brand and goodwill, and on the livelihood of its California franchisees. Indeed, there is no basis in law or fact for the plaintiffs' claims, which are frivolous and are being pursued without adequate investigation."

Subway added: "Unfortunately, this lawsuit is part of a trend in which the named plaintiffs' attorneys have been targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves in that space. Subway will vigorously defend itself against these and any other baseless efforts to mischaracterize and tarnish the high-quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers, in California and around the world, and intends to fight these claims through all available avenues if they are not immediately dismissed."

The complaint allegedly comes after tests of "multiple samples" of the tuna taken from Subway locations across California. The suit said the samples were tested at independent labs and determined to instead be "a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna."

One of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Shalini Dogra, declined to note what the specific ingredients the lab tests revealed were, the Post added.

The two plaintiffs are reportedly suing the sandwich chain for fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment. The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were "tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing," according to the Post.

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Dhanowa and Amin also claim that Subway is "saving substantial sums of money in manufacturing the products because the fabricated ingredient they use in the place of tuna costs less money," the Post reported.

"Consumers are consistently misled into purchasing the products for the commonly known and/or advertised benefits and characteristics of tuna when in fact no such benefits could be had, given that the products are in fact devoid of tuna," the lawsuit claims.

According to Subway's website, the tuna salad for the chain's sandwiches is made with flaked tuna in brine, mayonnaise and an additive to "protect flavor."

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Throughout the years, Subway has become a common target for lawsuits, the Post added.

Back in 2013, a class-action complaint accused the chain of selling $5 foot-long sandwiches that were an inch less than the length advertised, before an appeals court later threw out a settlement in the case, describing it as "utterly worthless."

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