The court says subway bread does not fit the ‘legal definition of bread’

The Supreme Court of Ireland states that bread used at subway locations throughout the country is so loaded with sugar, it should not be considered a “staple food”.

According to an Irish Times report, the owner of an Irish subway franchise challenged the European nation’s value-added tax.

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In Ireland, tax rebates can be issued for essential food staples, including bread.

The rebate led the subway franchise, Bookfinders Limited, to seek refunds on the basis that the quick-service sandwich shop serves food on bread and therefore get a 21% VAT tax exemption if the sandwich is not served on its premises needed.

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The five-judge court ruled that subway bread contains more sugar for staple foods under the Value-Added Tax Act, 1972. The act stipulates that the total quantity of sugar, fat and bread improvers cannot exceed 2. The percentage of weight of flour used to be tax-free, which differentiates “staple” bread from pastry and other calorie-dense substances that use bread.

According to the judges’ decision, Subway bread allegedly contains a quantity of sugar that is used for 10% of the weight of the dough. This amount does not fit the “statutory definition of bread”.

Fox News did not immediately hear back from the subway at the time of publication.


According to the company’s Irish website at Subway restaurants in Ireland, there are six varieties of bread (excluding tortilla wraps).

Customers receive an Italian white bread, a mozzarella- and Cheddar-blended Italian herb and cheese bread, a hearty Italian bread, a 9-grain wheat bread, a 9-grain multi-seeded bread, and a 6-inch glazen- Can choose free bread.

The Irish Supreme Court states that the bread used in subway sandwiches contains too much sugar for VAT tax exemption.  (IStock)

The Irish Supreme Court states that bread used in subway sandwiches contains too much sugar for VAT tax exemption. (IStock)

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Calories for six breads are not listed in Count Subway’s “September 2020 United Kingdom and Ireland” nutrition facts list, which can be downloaded from its website.

For comparison, there are 13 bread varieties in the US (excluding its 2 tortilla wraps), which contain between 120 and 220 calories, 2 and 5 grams of sugar and 1 and 5 grams of total fat.

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