Subway Sinking - DetaIL- © Marvin Joseph - The Washington Post

Canadian Subway Chicken Controversy

This has been brewing all week and it’s time I weighed in. Canada’s national broadcasting network tested a number of Fast Food ‘Chicken’ products and discovered that Subway’s contained Soy protein and ‘non-Chicken’ DNA. Then, Subway fought back, trying to defend itself against the allegations…

Subway Sinking - © Marvin Joseph - The Washington PostSubway, still the world’s largest Fast Food chain, but also the most troubled…

The CBC show Marketplace investigated the veracity of Fast Food Chicken, asking researcher Matt Harnden at Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory test six major chain Chicken Sandwiches. What Harnden found – about Subway Chicken in particular – was somewhat unsettling.

Seems that Subway’s ‘Chicken Breasts’, used in its Oven Roasted Chicken and Chicken Teriyaki Sandwiches, are only about 50 per cent chicken! Which is not to say the rest is filler. Subway was so hurt by the lab’s findings that it conducted its own tests to prove that there’s only a trace of Soy protein in its ‘Chicken’.

But that’s not the issue…

The issue is, there’s a lot of something in Subway ‘Chicken’ that isn’t Chicken. Tellingly, Subway did not address the mystery DNA issue in its high-profile rebuttal. Do they think the average person is stupid? If they won’t come clean about what the mystery meat in their ‘Chicken’ is, maybe Marketplace should have Dr. Harnden take another look and tell us all what the other stuff is.

Another nail in its coffin?

Subway is still, officially, the world’s largest Fast Food chain, if you go by the number of outlets a chain has world-wide. But it’s been going downhill for a couple of decades. I remember being gob-smacked by receiving a Subway sandwich that had only two pieces of Meat on it and two pieces of Cheese. I was visiting another city and in a hurry and didn’t notice I had been short-changed until sometime afterwards, when I’d returned to my hotel.

Thereafter, I tried to contact the manager or franchisee of the Subway location where I got the crappy Sub and was stonewalled. Next, I tried to get some satisfaction by contacting Subway Canada to complain about the ripoff franchisee. I got a form letter in reply, which didn’t address any of the issues I raised. Then, I contacted Doctor’s partners, the holding company that operates Subway worldwide, at their U.S. headquarters. They didn’t even bother to reply.

Things aren’t much better, now – 15 years later!

They have a ‘General Inquiries’ tab on their website Contact page but they won’t address my inquiries as to why, several years ago, they suddenly, without warning or justification, started slicing their Deli Meats and Cheeses only half as thick as they used to. And kept their prices the same. What a ripoff! And a bad-faith brushoff to their customers.No surprise that Subway sales are suffering.

I’ve been slagging them off for that whenever I get the chance in his blog and, to pretty much anyone who’ll listen. But I’m not the only one saying so. A 2015 Washington Post story notes that even Subway Franchisees are unhappy. Subway Corporate has simply lost touch with reality.

Greed-driven priorities

I think this is just another case of greed getting the better of common sense, in a massive corporate culture more obsessed with ‘return to shareholders’ than it is customer satisfaction. Take note, Subway mandarins: You can’t have one without the other!

~ M.