Is Subway Really Fresh? (Not What You Think)

Subway is known for having a vast range of food products available for customer purchase. There’s bread, proteins, vegetable toppings, sauces, and more. These will be displayed on the counter, ready to add to your sandwich.

the question you may be wondering is how fresh are they really? I’ve done some research into the preparation of Subway’s products and ingredients, and here’s what I’ve found out!

Is Subway Really Fresh?

Some of Subway’s ingredients arrive fresh and must be prepared in the store, such as tomatoes, onions, and some other fresh vegetables. Other ingredients arrive pre-packaged and pre-prepared, such as turkey and other cold-cut meats, while other meat comes fresh-frozen, as does the bread dough and the cookie dough.

If you want to know more about the freshness of Subway’s meat, bread, vegetables, sauces, and more, keep reading this article for more useful information on the quality of Subway foods!

Is Subway Meat and Fish Fresh?

Subway’s meat is always cooked and prepared (carved and packaged) before it gets sent to Subway stores.

By pre-packaging the meat, Subway employees are able to save time and make it more convenient for the customer (e.g. if their sandwich building area runs out of a specific meat and more needs to be retrieved).

Ham, turkey, roast beef, pepperoni, salami, cheese, tuna, bacon, and seafood all come refrigerated and pre-packaged and are the freshest protein options available to the customer, as refrigeration doesn’t affect the structure or taste in a major way.

However, Steak, chicken, chicken strips, and other similar meat products come fresh-frozen.

When being prepared for sandwiches, these meats are all thawed out and can be used either until the store runs out of their thawed meat quantity or until they are required to toss it out.

It should be noted, though, that the frozen meat products will taste less fresh than the other ones even though the freezing has technically preserved their freshness.

The texture and integrity will be affected, especially with the larger pieces of chicken.

Additionally, freezing creates ice crystals within the structure of the meat (due to the high water content in meat), which ruptures the fibers and makes the meat dryer when defrosted.

Also, the taste of the meat will be blandered when frozen due to activated enzymes in the meat that deteriorate the taste when subjected to cold temperatures.

Are Subway Vegetables Fresh?

Subway receives whole cucumbers, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes fresh and slices and prepares them daily.

At this time, vegetables are the freshest items that Subway offers.

Once a Subway store is attending to their closing tasks, any fresh vegetables left over are thrown away and replaced the following morning in order to ensure the vegetables are as fresh as possible.

However, pickles, olives, banana peppers, and jalapenos are all pickled vegetables and therefore come pre-pickled and pre-packaged.

Because these items are preserved in the pickle brine, they are kept fresh.

Spinach and lettuce also come fresh and arrive in plastic bags. However, the life cycle of the lettuce is quite worrying.

First, the lettuce is picked, chopped, packaged, and transported to Subway, so by the time it arrives at Subway, it’s allegedly anywhere between 10 to 15 days old.

This means you could be receiving 2-week-old lettuce on your sandwich.

Therefore, if you’re concerned about the freshness of your lettuce, ask the sandwich artist when they received the shipment, as the earlier it was received, the fresher it will be.

Is Subway Bread Fresh?

Is Subway Bread Fresh?

Subway’s bread is freshly baked every morning, at around 11 a.m., but the dough doesn’t arrive at Subway fresh. The dough is pre-prepared, proved, frozen, and packaged before it arrives at Subway restaurants.

Fortunately, freezing bread dough barely affects the taste and texture, as long as it isn’t freezer burnt.

As long as the bread dough contains yeast and has already risen once, it’s good to freeze, as yeast is only badly affected at higher temperatures.

If you go to Subway first thing in the morning or later in the day, it is likely that you will receive bread that has been baked at least 6 hours prior.

Therefore, if you want freshly baked bread from Subway, it’s best to go around 11 a.m. or midday.

If you’re getting the bread toasted, however, the level of freshness for the bread isn’t as important.

Stale bread fibers get a crispier texture when toasted, as opposed to fibers in a freshly baked loaf, making older bread perfect for a toasted sandwich.

Are Subway Sauces Fresh?

Sauces, including mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue, ranch, southwest, Caesar, salad dressings, and more, arrive at Subway pre-packaged and refrigerated to prevent the sauces from expiring before arriving at Subway.

However, sauces such as oil and vinegar don’t need to be refrigerated and therefore arrive at Subway pre-bottled.

All Subway sauces will be transferred to a plastic Subway sauce bottle for customer purchase, including any pre-bottled sauces, as all sauces must be in the correct Subway bottle to present to the customer.

Are Subway Cookies Fresh?

Similar to Subway’s bread, Subway cookie dough is packaged and frozen before being sent to Subway.

The cookies are then formed in the Subway restaurant and cooked in their oven before being presented to the customers.

However, frozen cookie dough will still make a fresh batch of cookies, as cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months before the dough is no longer usable.

The freezing process can also heavily enrich the flavor of the cookie, as the ingredients will compress together more, and the solidified fat will take significantly longer to melt in the oven, providing solid, flavorsome cookies.

To learn more about Subway, you can also see our posts on what the sauces are at Subway, how long Subway cookies last, and whether Subway makes its own bread.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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