Subway has refuted claims that it has 'switched' to halal meat alternatives in a number of its stores, claiming these outlets were specifically opened as halal stores.

Responding to various reports in the national media that the sandwich chain has removed ham and bacon from the menu in almost 200 outlets, a spokesperson for Subway told MTJ that, since 2007, franchisees opening new stores have had the option to open a halal store, dependent on consumer demand and the demographic of the local area, and that the use of Halal meats was not new.

"Due to the growing popularity of the Subway chain, with the diverse multicultural population across the UK and Ireland, we put a programme in place in 2007 to ensure that the population demographic is taken into account when new store openings are considered in order that we meet consumer demand in each location," said Subway.

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