Irish Supreme Court: Subway’s bread isn’t bread


Subway, the US chain serves giant sandwiches in 110 countries worldwide. However, judges in Ireland find that subway’s bread cannot be defined as bread for its high sugar content.

What brought the case to the court?

Subway’s bread exceeds stipulated sugar content.

Bookfinders Limited, which operates for Subway restaurants in Ireland filed an appeal to challenge Ireland’s tax authorities. The company argued to exempt value-added tax (VAT), also known as Goods and Services Tax (GST) from their products.

The company added that the bread used for their sandwiches counted as a staple food. Therefore, their products should not be subject VAT.

However, the court rejected the appeal. The court pointed out, under Ireland’s Value-Added Tax Act of 1972, sugar in bread should not exceed 2 per cent of the weight of flour in the dough.

The court said that Subway’s bread served as heated sandwiches contained a sugar content of 10 per cent of the flour’s weight included in the dough. In short, Subway’s bread contains five times as much sugar.

Is Subway selling bread or confectionery?

The spokesperson for Subway wrote in an e-mail, “Subway’s bread is, of course, bread.” “We have been baking fresh bread in our restaurants for more than three decades.” “Our guests return each day for sandwiches made with bread that smells as good as it tastes.”

Subway’s past controversy

Subway removed a bleaching agent from their bread in 2014 after a petition.

Subway removed a whitening agent azodicarbonamide from its bread following a circulated online petition back in the year 2014. Azodicarbonamide is also an ingredient that is used by yoga mat manufacturers to produce yoga mats.

In fact, McDonald’s and Starbucks also used the chemical in their breads in 2014. The petition targeted at Subway because of its image of serving healthy food. A blogger, Vani Hari started the petition.

For information, Azodicarbonamide is a bleaching agent in food manufacturing. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US allows Azodicarbonamide as a food additive in a limited amount. However, Australia and Europe ban the chemical in food products. Some organizations said the chemical has been linked to both asthma and cancer.

More Information About:

Content Sources:

  1. Subway bread is not bread, Irish court rules
  2. Subway bread isn’t bread, Irish court says
  3. Is Azodicarbonamide in bread at Subway, McDonald’s and other foods safe?
  4. Subway sandwiches will be free of ‘Yoga mat’ chemical by next week, says fast-food franchise




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