Skip navigation

Safety efforts start outside the store

As a concept that specializes in assembled-to-order sandwiches, Subway’s food-safety effort starts with the basic building blocks of its ingredients.

“We hold our manufacturers highly accountable,” said vice president of operations Steve Lawrence. “We use a third party auditing firm that makes sure that the product provided meets all our expectations.

“In turn, at the store levels we have a very stringent food-safety program that we implement and we evaluate every single store every month,” he continued.

Subway also identifies any allergens, such as soy, which Lawrence described as the biggest concern in that area.

Storage also is a focus. For back-room prep, all ingredients are held and refrigerated in separate containers to prevent cross-contamination.

Easy implementation is an overriding concern in the development of new products, including the Breakfast Stuffers biscuit sandwiches now being offered in some 850 Los Angeles stores. Standing food-safety procedures had to be extended to that additional fresh-baked product. For example, Stuffer preparers follow the same policy on plastic gloves, changing them for each sandwich.

The egg used for breakfast items arrives frozen and precooked, eliminating undercooking issues. 

Items placed in the new high-speed ovens used to produce the Breakfast Stuffers are placed on deli paper to avert cross contamination even within the high temperatures generated by the devices.

 Subway develops food-safety training materials on such fundamentals as handling ingredients and properly preparing sandwiches on the line. The company’s University of Subway also offers online courses to franchisees so their unit managers can find specific content, including the safety procedures for all breakfast items. 

“Food safety is our number one priority in the world,” Lawrence said. “To be in this industry, it is one of the most critical things and we take it extremely seriously.”

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.