- Subway’s tuna sub faced scrutiny after allegations suggested it didn’t contain tuna.
- Subway says DNA tests on the sandwich are unreliable.
- I tried Subway and Jimmy John’s tuna subs to compare them.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Subway contends that the test doesn’t prove anything, because cooking the fish can make the tuna DNA difficult or even impossible to identify.
The investigation came after a January lawsuit in California alleged that Subway mislabeled tuna, and it did not contain actual tuna fish. The plaintiffs are no longer questioning whether Subway serves tuna, but whether it is actually “100% sustainably caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna.”
Despite all the drama surrounding the tuna sandwich, Subway says it remains one of its most popular items. “Our popular tuna sandwich, made from 100% wild-caught tuna mixed with mayo, has been a staple of our menu for years,” Subway told Insider.
I ordered a tuna sub from Subway to test it out. I kept it simple with just some cheese and lettuce, and a worker assembled it right in front of me.
I got a six-inch sub, the smallest size offered at Subway.
Upon unwrapping, I thought the sandwich looked pretty good. I was most excited about the Italian herb and cheese bread.
I opened the sub up to inspect it further. It looked fine to me, if not the most appetizing sandwich I’d ever eaten, but I was surprised at what seemed like a stingy portion of tuna.
I was really glad I’d ordered lettuce, just to add some texture and keep myself from feeling like I was eating a loaf of bread.
I tasted the sandwich and it definitely seemed like tuna salad to me, though far too heavy on mayonnaise.
It was okay, but definitely not my favorite sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Like I wrote in my original review, I would order again if I needed something cheap and quick, though it’s far from great.
I went to the other major sandwich chain in my area, Jimmy John’s, for a comparison.
Jimmy’s John’s works in a similar way to Subway, so again I received a small wrapped sub. This one was slightly larger than Subway’s, the smallest sub sold at Jimmy John’s is eight inches.
On first glance, the Jimmy John’s sub looked more appetizing to me. There seemed to be more tuna and cheese.
The tuna tasted far more recognizably “tuna-y,” which I think because it was much lighter on the mayo.
Instead of assembling your own sub, Jimmy John’s offers assembled sandwich ideas that can be modified. Its tuna sub also came with cucumbers and tomatoes, which I found added a nice crunch to each bite.
While Jimmy John’s also has other subs I prefer to this one, I think this is definitely the superior tuna sub. It felt heartier and was more appealing than Subway’s.