Two California women have filed a lawsuit against Subway, claiming its tuna contains no tuna or any fish.
According to a lawsuit filed against the fast-food chain, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin allege Subway’s tuna is a “mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna.”
Dhanowa and Amin believe they “were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing,” based on its labeling, according to the lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, CBS reports.
“Consumers are consistently misled into purchasing the products for the commonly known and/or advertised benefits and characteristics of tuna when in fact no such benefits could be had, given that the products are in fact devoid of tuna,” the suit claims, noting that “independent testing has repeatedly affirmed, the products are made from anything but tuna,” the court papers allege.
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“The filling in the products has no scintilla of tuna at all,” the suit claims.
“Aware that consumers place a heightened value on tuna as an ingredient, defendants deliberately make false and misleading claims about the composition of the products to increase profits at the expense of unsuspecting buyers,” the suit charges.
Dhanowa and Amin are asking a judge to allow them to file the suit as a class action so others can also “seek reimbursement of the premium” they paid “due to defendants’ false and deceptive representations about the composition and ingredients of the products,” the court papers allege.
A Subway spokesperson called the claims “baseless” and “frivolous.”
“There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California,” the spokesperson said in a statement, per New York Post.“Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests.”
The allegations “threaten to damage our franchisees, small business owners who work tirelessly to uphold the high standards that Subway sets for all of its products, including its tuna,” the rep said.
“Unfortunately, this lawsuit is part of a trend in which the named plaintiffs’ attorneys have been targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves in that space,” the rep alleged.
“Subway will vigorously defend itself against these and any other baseless efforts to mischaracterize and tarnish the high-quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers, in California and around the world, and intends to fight these claims through all available avenues if they are not immediately dismissed,” the statement continued.