Subway denies report that its chicken is only 50% chicken


Subway is denying a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report that alleged the fast food chain’s chicken could contain just 50% chicken.

According to an investigation for CBC’s “Marketplace,” chicken used in two popular Subway sandwiches contained only about half chicken DNA.

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Report: Subway chicken has only about half chicken DNA

CBC reported that poultry you buy from the grocery store should come in at 100% chicken DNA, but seasoning, marinating or processing meat can lower that number.

A DNA researcher at Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory in Ontario tested chicken from five fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, A&W, Tim Hortons and Subway.

Samples from the restaurants tested between about 85% and 90% chicken DNA, except Subway. CBC said these were the average results after additional testing: 

  • Subway oven-roasted chicken: 53.6% chicken DNA
  • Subway chicken strips: 42.8% chicken DNA

The majority of the remaining DNA was soy, CBC said in its investigation that aired February 24.

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Subway calls report ‘false and ‘misleading’

In a statement to, Subway said the CBC story is false and misleading. And the company said it has its own test results to prove it.  

Subway said it sent samples of the Canadian products that the report claimed contained 50% soy protein to two independent labs, which both found there was less than 1% soy protein in all tested samples.


‘The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers. The safety, quality and integrity of our food is the foundation of our business. That’s why we took extra caution to test and retest the chicken. Our customers can have confidence in our food. The allegation that our chicken is only 50% chicken is 100% wrong,’ said Subway President and CEO Suzanne Greco.

Subway said it shared the results of the independent tests with CBC and the lab that conducted the test for the TV report. The company is demanding a retraction and an apology.

In a follow-up report on its website, CBC said Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory stands by its test results.

Read more about the original CBC investigation here. 

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