Subway in Canada is not very happy with a new CBC Marketplace investigation into the chicken used in the sandwiches at your favorite fast food restaurants. CBC tested the chicken in 5 popular sandwiches, including McDonald’s and Wendy’s, but it was the two sandwiches from Subway that raised eyebrows during the investigation. While the chicken at A&W, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s came in slightly under the 100% mark with results ranging from 84-89%, Subway’s chicken was well below according to CBC’s tests:
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.
Those results were averaged: the oven roasted chicken scored 53.6 per cent chicken DNA, and the chicken strips were found to have just 42.8 per cent chicken DNA. The majority of the remaining DNA? Soy.
One person involved in the testing called Subway’s chicken “misrepresentation” and the reported ingredients would make you question seeking out the “healthier” option at the restaurants included. While Marketplace and University of Guelph food scientist Ben Bohrer can’t confirm how the chicken tested in this investigation is created, they do indicate they are likely “restructured products” containing “a combined total of about 50 ingredients in the chicken alone.”
Most of the restaurants surveyed wouldn’t break down their ingredients to CBC, with Tim Hortons providing no comment and A&W directing to their website as a response. Subway, on the other hand, offered a clear defense for their chicken and rejected the results of the test:
SUBWAY Canada cannot confirm the veracity of the results of the lab testing you had conducted. However, we are concerned by the alleged findings you cite with respect to the proportion of soy content. Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1% or less of soy protein. We use this ingredient in these products as a means to help stabilize the texture and moisture. All of our chicken items are made from 100% white meat chicken which is marinated, oven roasted and grilled. We tested our chicken products recently for nutritional and quality attributes and found it met our food quality standards. We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.
In conclusion, the investigation determined that most of the chicken tested featured a “quarter less protein” than the chicken you could prepare at home. All and all, you’re likely better skipping out on the fast food chicken and just heading to the store. Then again, that chicken has its own issues to deal with.