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Subway crisis: Is ‘footlong’ sub really 11 inches?

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 11:48 a.m. CST

NEW YORK (AP) — What’s in an inch? Apparently, enough missing meat, cheese and tomatoes to cause an uproar.

Subway, the world’s largest fast food chain with 38,000 locations, is facing widespread criticism after a man who appears to be from Australia posted a photo on the company’s Facebook page of one of its footlong sandwiches next to a tape measure that shows the sub is just 11 inches.

More than 100,000 people have “liked” or commented on the photo, which had the caption “Subway pls respond.” Lookalike pictures popped up elsewhere on Facebook. And The New York Post conducted its own investigation that found that four out of seven footlong sandwiches that it measured were shy of the 12 inches that makes a foot.

The original photo was no longer visible by Thursday afternoon on Subway’s Facebook page, which has 19.8 million fans. A spokesman for Subway, which is based in Milford, Conn., said Subway did not remove it.

Subway also said that the length of its sandwiches may vary slightly when its bread, which is baked at each Subway location, is not made to the chain’s exact specifications.

“We are reinforcing our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure our offerings are always consistent no matter which Subway restaurant you visit,” read an e-mailed statement.

Subway has offered footlong sandwiches since it opened in 1965. The chain introduced a $5 footlong promotion in 2008 as the U.S. fell into the recession, and has continued offering the popular option throughout the recovery.

But comments by other Facebook users about the photo ran the gamut from outrage to indifference to amusement. One commenter urged people to “chill out.” Another one said she was switching to Quiznos.

“I’ve never seen so many people in an uproar over an inch. Wow,” read one Facebook post. “Let’s all head to McDonald’s and weigh a Quarter Pounder,” suggested another poster.

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