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The bread used for sandwiches at Subway is not bread. This is according to the Irish Supreme Court. In Ireland, some of the main foods people eat are not taxed. The foods which aren’t taxed are the staple foods that people need. There are many foods which aren’t taxed but some of the foods include bread, milk, cheese and meat.

Subway had asked the Irish government to let them not pay tax on their bread. They had paid tax on their bread before and then requested a refund. The Irish government refused to refund the tax and so Subway took them to court. Now, the Supreme Court has agreed with the Irish government and so Subway will have to continue paying tax on their bread. The Supreme Court decided the government was correct because Subway bread contains too much sugar. There is a limit to how much sugar can be in bread for it to be tax-free. Subway’s bread has five times more sugar than the limit. This rule is to stop other foods from pretending to be bread so they don’t have to pay tax.

This is not the first time Subway has been criticised for its bread. In 2014, people found that Subway was putting some chemicals in the bread. One of the chemicals that was discovered is also used to make yoga mats. This caused controversy and people compared Subways bread to rubber. They stopped using the chemical when people got angry. The chemical was only used at Subway in the US because it isn’t allowed in food in many other countries. Following this recent scandal, Subway hasn’t said if they will use less sugar in their bread.

Difficult Words

Supreme Court (n): The highest court in a country.

Tax (n/v): Money that people must pay the government for services.

Staple (n): An important part of something.

Refund (n): Getting money back for something you paid for.

Refuse (v): To deny or say no.

Controversy (n): A topic or issue which makes many people disagree.

Activities

For listening practice, listen to the recorded article here:

American English Audio:

Match the Synonym!

 1. TaxA. Disagreement
 2. StapleB. Deny
 3. RefundC. Paid to government.
 4. RefuseD. Money back.
 5. ControversyE. Important

True or False?

  1. The US Supreme Court has said Subway’s bread is not bread. T / F

2. The Irish government does not tax many foods. T / F

3. Subway has never paid tax on bread before. T / F

4. The Irish government refused to refund Subway. T / F

5. Subway put chemicals in their bread in the past. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. many / which / There / are / foods / aren’t / taxed

2. on / tax / bread / They / their / paid / had

3. Irish / government / The / refused

4. sugar / times / Subway’s / has / five / bread / more

5. not / first / time / the / This / is

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

American English Audio:

ContainsScandalAccording
DiscoveredTaxCourt

The bread used for sandwiches at Subway is not bread. This is (1)_____________ to the Irish Supreme Court. In Ireland, some of the main foods people eat are not taxed. The foods which aren’t taxed are the staple foods that people need. There are many foods which aren’t taxed but some of the foods include bread, milk, cheese and meat.

Subway had asked the Irish government to let them not pay (2)______ on their bread. They had paid tax on their bread before and then requested a refund. The Irish government refused to refund the tax and so Subway took them to (3)_________. Now, the Supreme Court has agreed with the Irish government and so Subway will have to continue paying tax on their bread. The Supreme Court decided the government was correct because Subway bread (4)__________ too much sugar. There is a limit to how much sugar can be in bread for it to be tax-free. Subway’s bread has five times more sugar than the limit. This rule is to stop other foods from pretending to be bread so they don’t have to pay tax.

This is not the first time Subway has been criticised for its bread. In 2014, people found that Subway was putting some chemicals in the bread. One of the chemicals that was (5)_____________ is also used to make yoga mats. This caused controversy and people compared Subways bread to rubber. They stopped using the chemical when people got angry. The chemical was only used at Subway in the US because it isn’t allowed in food in many other countries. Following this recent (6)____________, Subway hasn’t said if they will use less sugar in their bread.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Is Subway popular in your country?
5. What do you think about the amount of sugar in Subway bread?
6. Is fast-food popular in your country?
7. Are there any ‘healthy’ fast foods in your country?
8. Are food standards high in your country?
9. Have you eaten at Subway before?
10. Are sandwiches a popular fast-food in your country?
11. Is food taxed in your country?
12. Do you think certain foods should not be taxed?
13. Do you have a favorite type of fast-food?
14. Do you think the Irish Supreme Court was right to classify Subway’s bread in the same way as sweets and chocolate?
15. Are there any tax laws that you don’t agree with in your country?
16. Do you worry about the ingredients used in foods?
17. Do you try to eat healthy?
18. Do you think governments should create laws for food ingredients?
19. Do you consider your country’s traditional food ‘healthy’?
20. Do you think Subway will change their bread recipe?