Subway bread does not qualify as bread due to its high sugar content, a court has ruled.
A judge found that Subway bread cannot be classed as bread as the sugars exceed the stipulated limit. Published on Tuesday, the judgement instead ruled that it falls under the category of confectionery.
The court ruling followed an appeal from Bookfinders Ltd, the Irish franchisee of Subway, over VAT. It argued that the bread used counts as a staple food and, as a result, should be exempt from VAT.
According to Irish law, the amount of sugar in bread should not exceed 2% of the weight of the flour in the dough. But for the bread used in Subway’s sandwiches, this stands at 10% – more than five times the limit.
A 15cm (six inch) sub roll from Subway contains 5g of sugar, which is more than a milk chocolate digestive biscuit (4.8g).
‘In this case, there is no dispute that the bread supplied by Subway in its heated sandwiches has a sugar content of 10% of the weight of the flour included in the dough, and thus exceeds the 2% specified,’ the ruling reads.
Mr Justice O’Donnell added: ‘The argument depends on the acceptance of the prior contention that the Subway heated sandwich contains “bread” as defined, and therefore can be said to be food for the purposes of the Second Schedule rather than confectionery.
‘Since that argument has been rejected, this subsidiary argument must fail.’
The ruling can be read here.
This comes as research reveals that many autumnal drinks contain more than the daily recommended amount of sugar.
More than half of the top 10 sweetest beverages contain more sugar than a 330ml can of coke.
For example, a pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks is made using 50g of sugar. This exceeds the recommended daily limit of 30g by two thirds.
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