If you think when you order a chicken burger or sandwich at a fast food joint that you’re getting 100-percent chicken and a healthier alternative to other options, you may need to think again.
CBC’s Marketplace conducted a scientific analysis of the contents of several chicken menu items from a number of fast-food outlets. What they discovered may surprise some diners.
Marketplace arranged for a researcher to conduct DNA tests on the food items at a forensic DNA laboratory in Peterborough, Ontario.
• McDonald’s Country Chicken (grilled)
• Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich
• A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe
• Tim Hortons Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap
• Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich
• Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (chicken strips)
The tests were conducted without condiments or sauces.
While an unprepared piece of chicken would register at 100-percent chicken DNA, any seasoning, marinating, or processing would lower the results somewhat below 100-percent.
Four of the samples produced results close to 100 percent:
• McDonald's Country Chicken (grilled) averaged 84.9 percent
• Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich averaged 88.5 percent
• A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe averaged 89.4 percent
• Tim Hortons Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap averaged 86.5 percent
The two samples that produces significantly lower results were from Subway:
• Subway Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich averaged 53.6 percent
• Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (chicken strips) averaged 42.8 percent
The majority of the remaining DNA in these samples were soy.
When Marketplace contacted the companies for their reactions, many stated that their products used 100-percent chicken.
Subway said they could not confirm the results of the CBC's lab tests and that they would look into the issue with their supplier.
What’s more, the food analysis found that sodium levels were seven to ten times higher than regular, unprepared chicken.
Here is the Marketplace episode that includes the results and a blind food taste test conducted with four Canadians.