Subway Denies Report That Its Chicken Is Only About 54 Percent Meat (UPDATED)

A DNA test found the chain's "oven roasted chicken" is only about half real meat.

UPDATE, Tuesday, March 21: Subway issued a notice of action against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on March 9, alleging its claims about Subway’s chicken meat are “defamatory and absolutely false,” a spokesperson for the chain told HuffPost. Subway is seeking $210 million in damages.


Subway says its chicken is the real deal, despite some claims to the contrary.

The chain’s chicken meat contains only about half real chicken DNA, according to the results of an investigation commissioned by Canada’s CBC News. The rest is mostly soy, the CBC says.

It’s often reported that fast food chicken has added ingredients. But Subway says the CBC’s claims are false, at least concerning its chicken served in both the U.S. and Canada.

“The accusations made... about the content of our chicken are absolutely false and misleading,” a Subway spokesman told HuffPost in a statement. “Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product... We do not know how [CBC News] produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction.”

The news report includes results from DNA tests of chicken at a number of fast-food restaurants. McDonald’s and Wendy’s were found to have around 85 percent chicken DNA in their products. Subway’s results were dramatically lower: Its oven roasted chicken was found to have 53.6 percent chicken DNA, and its chicken strips came out to just 42.8 percent.

Fast-food chicken often contains fillers like soy and water to maximize value and taste, and may even contain other chicken parts like fat or blood vessels, according to NPR. Indeed, Subway’s ingredients list mentions add-ins like water, soy protein and “chicken flavor” in addition to chicken breast. However, Subway Canada told CBS that the soy protein doesn’t add up to more than 1 percent of the total product.

Until this is all sorted out, we’ll be making our own chicken dinner at home. Here are some of our favorite recipes:

Greek Chicken And Rice Casserole
Bev Cookes
Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Pozole
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Pozole recipe from Half Baked Harvest
Grilled Chicken Skewers With Burst Tomatoes
How Sweet It Is
Kale Caesar Salad With Grilled Chicken
Bev Cooks
Sumac Chicken With Meyer Lemons
Feasting at Home
Get the Sumac Chicken with Meyer Lemons recipe from Feasting at Home
Marinated Kale And Chicken Bowls With Sun dried Tomato Sauce
Pinch of Yum
Stir Fried Carrot Noodles With Chicken
The Woks Of Life
Get the Stir Fried Carrot Noodles with Chicken recipe from The Woks Of Life
Spiced Eggplant, Chicken And Chickpea Salad
The Clever Carrot
Chicken Soup With Pinto Beans And Corn
Bev Cooks
Best Grilled Chicken
Foodie Crush
Get the Best Grilled Chicken recipe from Foodie Crush
Mediterranean Chicken And Farro Salad
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Mediterranean Chicken and Farro Salad recipe from Half Baked Harvest
Tunisian Chicken With Couscous
Feasting at Home
Get the Tunisian Chicken with Couscous recipe from Feasting at Home
Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera
Pinch of Yum
Grilled Chicken Tandoori
The Woks of Life
Get the Grilled Chicken Tandoori recipe from The Woks of Life
Easy Shredded Chicken Curry
Bev Cooks
Get the Easy Shredded Chicken Curry recipe from Bev Cooks
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Before You Go

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