Subway Bread Isn’t Real Bread According to Irish Supreme Court

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The Irish Supreme Court has ruled that the bread served at Subway is not bread. So… what exactly is it?

Five judges made the surprising ruling on Wednesday (September 30). Apparently, the reason that the bread Subway serves its sandwiches on cannot be considered bread is because the heated bread has too much sugar in it "to meet the legal definition of bread."

The sugar content makes up 10 percent of the weight of the flour in the dough, The Irish Independent reported. No bread should exceed 2 percent of sugar, fat or bread improver powder compared to the weight of flour in the dough used to create the bread.

The court explained that because of the high sugar content, Subway sandwiches cannot be legally deemed a "staple food," which includes bread.

Aside from the determination that their bread is not officially bread, the ruling also decided whether to give Subway a tax break under the Value-Added Tax Act of 1972. In order to qualify for the tax break, their bread would need to include only 1/5 of their current sugar content. They will not receive the tax break.

The judges also rejected an argument from a Galway-based Subway franchise owner, Bookfinders. Bookfinders claimed that they did not have to meet the sugar standard for to-go items, including their sandwiches.

Justice Donal O’Donnell explained that their goal was to distinguish the starch from other baked goods that aren't healthy enough to be considered a "staple food" or essential.