The chain issues a statement refuting allegations that its chicken is less than 50 percent chicken.

By Shay Spence
Updated May 24, 2017
Subway Restaurants CEO Greco to Retire After 45 Years at Company
Credit: Michael Nagle—Bloomberg

Update 3/7: Subway has issued a statement in response to the Marketplace report refuting its claims. The chain retained two independent laboratories to test the disputed product in Canada and the United States; the results of Subway's test found soy protein below 10 ppm—less than 1 percent—in all test samples. Subway has sent these results to Marketplace. "The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers," said Subway President and CEO Suzanne Greco. "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 percent chicken is 100 percent wrong."

After a Canadian study revealed that Subway’s chicken may only contain about half actual chicken, the sandwich chain is vehemently denying the validity of the allegations.

“The accusations made by CBC Marketplace about the content of our chicken are absolutely false and misleading. Our chicken is 100 percent white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product,” a spokesperson told NBC News in a statement.

“We have advised them of our strong objections. We do not know how they produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction. Producing high quality food for our customers is our highest priority. This report is wrong and it must be corrected,” they added.

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The study in question, which came out on Sunday, tested the DNA in the chicken of five different fast food chains: McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Tim Horton’s, A&W, and Subway. While all the other restaurant came in between 85-90% chicken DNA, Subway averaged much lower — 53.6% for their oven-roasted chicken and 42.8% for their teriyaki chicken strips.

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Though CBC acknowledges that “seasoning, marinating or processing meat” would contribute to bringing the number down, Subway’s product was found to be supplemented with a significant amount of soy.

In the company’s initial response to the findings, they stated that they “cannot confirm the veracity of the results” and they were “concerned.”