CNN Praises Subway’s Week-Old Toppings

UPDATE: Why no one goes to Subway anymore

(HEADLINE HEALTH) Even store owners won’t eat one topping served in Subway restaurants – the lettuce. But that hasn’t stopped CNN from giving the chain’s “best menu picks” (including lettuce) a ringing endorsement … 

The majority of items pictured in CNN’s ‘best menu picks’ at Subway are vegetables, which have been in the store for up to a week before they are served. Also pictured: Gatorade and French’s mustard. IMAGE: homepage screenshot, 1/8/2018

As we recently reported, negative feedback is piling up from both franchisees and consumers on the lack of freshness at Subway. A wave of store closures is hitting the world’s largest fast food chain (yes, they have more locations than McDonald’s). 

“The lettuce is just a massive problem …”

Yet as Americans start the new year with healthy-eating resolutions, CNN continues to promote a nearly year-old story, “Subway’s best menu picks, by a nutritionist.” However this story may be as stale as the vegetable toppings often used in Subway stores. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Why No One Goes to Subway Anymore

CNN’s story features an image of nine items served at Subway, the majority of which are vegetables. (Other “best menu picks” shown include a bottle of Gatorade and a packet of French’s mustard.)

According to franchise orders, Subway headquarters has responded to declining profits by slashing fresh produce deliveries to most locations to just once a week.

“Years ago, we ordered local produce daily,” a franchisee who owns two Subway locations told Business Insider. “They forced us to stop doing that.”

Instead, the franchisee said, produce is delivered once a week – twice if sales are especially high.

“By the end of the week … the lettuce is just a massive problem,” she said, describing its taste after a few days as “shredded paper.”

“I can’t eat the lettuce, and that’s a problem, and I’ve told them,” she said. “They’re just not listening.”


That means the veggies on your sub have been in the store for up to seven days.

Add the time to truck the veggies from the distribution center to Subway’s 44,608 stores worldwide and those “fresh” toppings are getting rather long in the tooth.

CNN goes even further in heaping praise on Subway veggies:

“Here’s more food for thought: If you think of Subway solely as a sandwich chain, you might be surprised to learn that from the time the first store opened in 1965, salads have been on the menu. We’re not talking about new culinary creations but simple adaptations. For example, a sub can quickly morph into a salad if you ask for the sandwich to be prepared as a salad. The ingredients are pretty much the same (except for the bread), just in different proportions (i.e. more veggies, including spinach, and olives).”

In fairness to CNN’s nutrition editor, her story was written on February 3, 2017; Business Insider’s story (“People are ditching Subway, and franchisees expect a wave of store closures”) was published on December 22, 2017. However, as of this writing (1/8/2018), CNN’s nearly year-old story appears on their homepage.