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Subway’s sandwich bread is actually cake, rules Irish court

Subway bread has five times the legal sugar limit and is actually confectionary, rules Irish court.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
In Ireland, bread is not taxed as it is considered a staple food, but cake is. Photo: Pexels
In Ireland, bread is not taxed as it is considered a staple food, but cake is. Photo: Pexels

Subway sandwich shops are famous the world over for the smell of baking bread they waft around streets in their neighbourhood.

The aroma is supposed to lure you in for a footlong sandwich, and for many passers-by it works.

Other people have compared the aroma to waste bins, and prefer to pass right on by.

At least, whatever you thought of the aroma, you knew Subway sandwiches were made of bread and all sorts of yummy fillings.

According to the Subway Ireland website, the chain’s sandwiches are available on six different kinds of bread, including nine-grain multi-seed, Italian white bread, Italian herbs and cheese, nine-grain wheat, hearty Italian, and honey oat.

Now, Ireland’s Supreme Court has ruled that all six varieties, even the healthy-sounding ones, are too sugary to legally be called “bread” at all.

In Ireland, following the ruling, Subway bread is now considered to be confectionary, more like cake than bread for tax purposes.

Basically, you don’t have to pay tax on bread because it’s a “staple food” but you do on cake, which is not.

That’s designed to prevent restaurants and takeaways passing off sugary baked goods like pastries and cakes as “staple foods” exempt from tax.

The Irish Independent reports that the judges ruled that Subway’s bread is not a staple food because its sugar content is 10% of the weight of the flour in the dough when the legal limit is 2%.

In other words, Subway puts five times too much sugar in their “bread” for it to be considered bread in Ireland.

A Subway spokesman disagreed, saying, “Subway’s bread is, of course, bread. We have been baking fresh bread in our restaurants for more than three decades and our guests return each day for sandwiches made on bread that smells as good as it tastes.”

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