Subway restaurants are taking a bite out of claims that its chicken might not be what it seems.
In late February, the Candian Broadcasting Corporation released a report comparing the chicken in popular restaurant sandwiches. McDonald's, Wendy's, Tim Horton's and A&W tested well. Subway did not.
"Subway's results were such an outlier that the team decided to test them again, biopsying five new oven roasted chicken pieces, and five new orders of chicken strips," CBC Marketplace said. "Those results were averaged: the oven roasted chicken scored 53.6 percent chicken DNA, and the chicken strips were found to have just 42.8 percent chicken DNA. The majority of the remaining DNA? Soy."
The story about Subway's chicken being mostly soy went viral. CBC cited research from Ontario's Trent University's Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory.
Now, Subway claims the reporting from CBC "used factually incorrect data," and did DNA testing of its own.
“The allegation that our chicken is only 50 percent chicken is 100 percent wrong," said Subway President and CEO Suzanne Greco in a statement.
"Our chicken is and has always been 100 percent real chicken. In response to these baseless allegations, we had two independent labs, one in the US and one in Canada, test our Canadian chicken products," the company said in a statement.
You can view Subway's test results here, here and here. Subway said the small amount of soy protein is in the seasoning, which is added during the cooking process.
The CBC report also quoted Ben Bohrer, a food scientist at the University of Guelph, who said the chicken used in the sandwiches contain an average of 16 ingredients. The ingredients include anything from honey and onion powder to industrial ingredients that are safe for human consumption, Bohrer said.
According to Subway, the ingredients in its US oven roasted chicken are made from chicken breast with rib meat, water, chicken flavor (which is sea salt, sugar, chicken stock, salt, flavors, canola oil, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, chicken fat, honey) and contains 2 percent or less of potato starch, sodium phosphate, dextrose and carrageenan. The Canadian oven roasted chicken is made from chicken breast meat, water, seasoning (which is sea salt, sugar, chicken stock, salt, flavors, canola oil, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, chicken fat, honey), soy protein and sodium phosphates.