Subway's sandwich bread isn't legally bread, Irish court rules

Subway's sandwich bread isn't legally bread, Irish court rules

This is not the bread that Subway made its sandwiches with – at least not according to Ireland’s top court.

The country’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Subway’s breads did not meet legal bread standards because of their sugar content.

Bookfinders Ltd, an Irish franchisee of the US Galway-based company, brought a case in which it argued that Subway’s bread should be tax-free as it is a staple food.

Instead, the five-judge court found that Subway’s bread was “candy or fancy baked goods” because its sugar-to-flour ratio was almost five times too high to fall below the legal staple food standard.

Under the Irish VAT Act of 1972, bread cannot have a sugar content in excess of 2 percent of the weight of the flour in the dough to be considered a staple and tax-free.

All of Subway’s heated sandwich bread options – white bread, Italian, nine-grain wheat, honey oats, Italian herbs and cheese, nine-grain multigrain bread, and hearty Italian – have 10 percent sugar.

“It is undisputed that the bread supplied by Subway in its heated sandwiches has a sugar content of 10 percent of the weight of the flour contained in the dough,” the judgment said.

According to the Independent in IrelandThe Bookfinders case arises from a 2006 decision in which the Revenue Commissioners refused to reimburse VAT payments between early 2004 and late 2005. Bookfinders claims they shouldn’t be taxed and are eligible for a refund.

Subway pushed back the court ruling that his sandwiches were made of something other than bread.

“The bread of the underground is of course bread,” said a spokesman for the underground in a statement.

“We have been baking fresh bread in our restaurants for more than three decades, and our guests return every day to make sandwiches on bread that smells as good as it tastes.”

In nutritional information for Company websiteAll bread contains at least 1 gram of dough.

The company said it would review the verdict.


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