Subway bread too sugary to be considered bread, Irish court rules

Subway bread too sugary to be considered bread, Irish court rules
A Subway sandwich is seen in a restaurant on October 21, 2015 in Miami. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images, File)

Subway sandwich bread contains too much sugar to meet the legal definition of bread, Ireland’s highest court ruled this week, according to multiple reports.

The decision handed down Tuesday by Ireland’s Supreme Court was part of a tax dispute filed by Bookfinders Ltd., a Subway franchisee in the country, according to The Irish Times. Bookfinders had argued that its take-away products, including teas, coffees and heated filled sandwiches, were not subject to value-added tax, the Times reported.

The Supreme Court rejected Bookfinders’ arguments, saying in a court filing that Subway bread has a sugar content of 10% of the weight of the flour in the dough, according to the Irish Independent. The amount is 8% higher than what’s allowed to categorize the bread as a “staple food,” and not another baked good, under the 1972 Value-Added Tax Act, the newspaper reported.

Content Continues Below

Subway representatives disputed the court’s decision in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

“Subway’s bread is, of course, bread,” the company said in an email to the AP. “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.”

The decision stemmed from an appeal filed by Bookfinders after revenue officials declined in 2006 to refund value-added tax payments made in 2004 and 2005, the Independent reported. Subway officials told the AP they were reviewing the ruling.