Subway franchisees have been told to extend the shelf life of some of their ingredients for up to six months.
The American sandwich chain has has closed 133 stores in Australia – or 9.2 per cent – during the past four years as part of global downsizing.
Now, in another effort to cut back costs, the franchise giant is demanding stores extend the best before date of sauces, toppings and seasonings.
Subway franchisees have been told to extend the shelf life of some of their ingredients for up to six months – even though the slogan is ‘eat fresh’ (stock image)
The American sandwich chain has has closed 133 stores, or 9.2 per cent of its Australian stores, during the past four years as part of a global downsizing (stock image)
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, franchisees were told to extend the shelf life of blue cheese dressing, buffalo sauce, cranberry sauce, habanero sauce, pesto mayo, rye bread topping and herb seasoning.
Letters were sent to stores from March to July, instructing managers to disregard previous ‘best before’ dates and use the products for longer.
Product manufacturers often dictate whether a best before date can be extended, and franchisee owners are told to adhere to the shelf life guidelines.
A Subway spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the chain’s food standards ‘exceed industry standards’ and best before dates are determined by manufacturers.
‘Best before dates are occasionally extended by food manufacturers, in accordance with food regulations, where microbiological testing confirms product safety and zero risk to public health,’ the spokeswoman said.
‘This is commonplace across the food sector.’
‘Food safety is paramount and our rigorous handling, storage and preparation practises exceed industry regulations. Our stringent operations standards require that food is tested twice-daily in every restaurant.’
‘Our restaurants are frequently audited to ensure they meet our high standards and our owners and their teams receive regular food handling training.’
Now, in another effort to cut back costs, the franchise giant is demanding stores extend the best before date of sauces, toppings and seasoning (stock image)
Letters were sent to stores from March to July, instructing managers to disregard previous ‘best before’ dates and use the products for longer (stock image)
She said ‘progressive changes’ positioned Subway to have a successful future in Australia.
‘We are one of the largest investors in Australian fresh produce, with veggies farm-to-Footlong in as little as 72 hours and sliced by hand in-restaurant every day,’ she said.
The news comes after former Subway employees have spoken out against the food chain, alleging they had to use rotten tomatoes and pick food up off the floor to serve to customers.
The former employees, identified only as Kate and Dylan by A Current Affair, claim to have seen disgusting practices in the store.
They also allege they were underpaid by $37,000.
While wage theft was a concern to Dylan, he said he also wanted to break his silence because he felt Subway’s food quality had dropped off.
‘We were never allowed to throw anything out … if it was out of date, oh well, just keep it, keep using it,’ Dylan told the program.
Former Subway employees Kate* (left) and Dylan* (right) have spoken out against the food chain alleging they had to serve rotten food and were underpaid thousands of dollars
Kate alleged food not fit to be served was being used in the store.
‘I’ve seen food picked up off the floor and put back in the sandwich bar. I’ve been yelled at for tipping a box of rotten tomatoes in the bin and made to pick every single one of them out,’ she said.
Katie said it wasn’t until after she was promoted to store manager when she ‘realised Subway doesn’t do things right’.
She said she approached the store’s franchisee, but said her complaints went unheard.
Subway reps would also come into the store regularly and she would give them the same complaints, but she alleges they were ignored then too.
She said allegedly being ignored like that made her feel ‘completely disregarded’.
Across Australia, the number of Subway restaurants has dived from 1,444 in 2015 to 1,311 this year, an analysis by food research group Technomic found.
It closed 1,100 restaurants in the United States last year alone.