Subway's public relations team rushed to get ahead of a potential PR disaster from a lawsuit claim that the franchise serves mystery meat to its customers.
A lawsuit filed by two plaintiffs in California claims an independent laboratory tested a Subway tuna fish sandwich and found the sandwich did not contain tuna or even fish.
"The products are made from a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by Defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna," the lawsuit alleged. "Defendants identified, labeled and advertised the products as 'tuna' to consumers, when in fact they were not tuna."
The news prompted rampant speculation that Subway cuts corners by serving dog, cat or even human flesh that are cheaper by the pound than wild-caught tuna from the sea.
"These claims are meritless," a Subway spokesperson said in a statement to MSN's Insider. "Tuna is one of our most popular sandwiches. Our restaurants receive 100% wild-caught tuna, mix it with mayonnaise and serve on a freshly made sandwich to our guests."
Subway's spokesman claims a serving of tuna contains only skipjack and yellowtail tuna from fisheries.
The spokesperson added: "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."
In 2020, Subway lost a lawsuit in an Irish court that ruled Subway sandwich rolls could not be legally defined as "bread" because of the high sugar content.