Subway Sandwiches Now With Rusty Bolt Goodness!

According to News 10, Josh Sjowall ordered a foot-long roast beef combo at a Subway store in Tracy, California. As he picked up the sandwich he felt a foreign object with his thumb and discovered it was a rusty bolt. And oh yes, Subway is….”taking it very seriously.” Details and photo, inside…

The article says,

I felt something strange with my thumb and said, ‘What the hell,” said Sjowall, 17. Josh’s mom saw it, too.”It looked like a big bug. Then I realized it was a bolt baked into the roll,” said Jeri Sjowall.

And Jeri Sjowall was right — what Josh found was a rusty 3/4-inch bolt baked into the bread of his sandwich.

The Sjowalls took the sandwich back to the store, where managers didn’t doubt their claim. A Subway manager said the company was taking the allegation very seriously and they’re investigating where the bolt may have come from.

The sandwich was express-mailed back to General Mills headquarters in Minnesota, where Subway’s bread is baked.

At least this foreign object can be put to use. Perhaps it is the elusive part Mr. Sjowall needs to fix his ’67 Camaro. Or maybe this will be Josh’s “lucky” rusty bolt that will one day be passed to his grandchild. If all else fails, you could whip it at Jared if you ever see him around. Here’s to you, Subway!

Tracy Teen: What’s a Rusty Bolt Doing In My Subway Sub? [News 10] (Thanks to Ethan!)
(Photo: News 10)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Shutaro says:

    Iron helps us play!

  2. Megatenist says:

    Well,this finally proves my theory that all Subway employees are heartless,souless robots created by Skynet.

    • cuchanu says:

      @Megatenist: Some are ok but I went there one time and this guy just squirted all the condiments in one spot like that was ok. I don’t mean in one line, which still bugs me, but just one spot. I looked at him and said, “are you fucking kidding me?”

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I was actually going to go get Subway for lunch…now I’m not in the mood.

  4. Nighthawke says:

    Waiit a second. Subway is outsourcing their baking process now? All the franchises I’ve visited make their own bread from dry premix. Or should the article say that they are investigating the factory where the dry premix came from?

    I find it hard to believe a bolt like that would have made it past the metal detectors that most plants have in place to prevent events like this from happening. Or it fell off and landed in the mixing bowl on site.

  5. brs928 says:

    Aren’t Subway’s rolls baked in the restaurants themselves?

  6. skadoo323 says:

    actually all the ones I have been to around MD/DC make their own bread, so not too sure what happened at that location.

  7. Amry says:

    I ask this question in the most sincere and non-confrontational way (seriously):

    What sort of words would be preferable to hear over “taking it very seriously”? I see it mocked constantly and am truly and honestly curious.

  8. phelander says:

    “Footlong with a Rusty Bolt” sounds like one of those fetish euphamisms, a la “cleveland steamer” or “dirty sanchez”

  9. xphilter says:

    i thought subway baked their own bread….wtf…i’ve been duped!

  10. MrEvil says:

    More than likely it ended up in the dough mixing equipment from somewhere in the store. Could have even come from the oven.

    I love how most people when they find a foreign object in their food (and in this case it isn’t even really hidden) they get all drama queen about it and expect massive recompense.

  11. Machete_Bear says:

    @Amry: I think it’s more the insincerity of the claim. Usually ‘taking it very seriously’ means writing up some sort of incident report, and mailing you a coupon.

    It’s not like the heads of these companies are losing sleep over a bolt in your hoagie, so they can’t be taking it that seriously. Good customer service speaks for itself, and when a company truly takes your problem seriously, you’ll know it.

  12. @Megatenist: No, it proves Tony Stark started out working in Subway b/4 he got the money to upgrade his suit to stainless steel.

  13. B says:

    That sandwich wasn’t double-bolted.

  14. phlyers18 says:

    I used to work at a subway. We got our bread as frozen boxes of dough that we just wet, sliced (to make it look nice), rolled in whatever topping the bread was suppose to have, then pop it in the oven.

    So technically, it was “fresh baked”.

  15. bukz68 says:

    Subway’s bread comes in pre-made frozen sticks. The sticks are thawed, placed in a proofer to rise and then thrown into the oven. When they say they make their bread fresh they really mean “we let it thaw, put it in the proofer for 10-15 and then the oven.” Their is no mixing equipment or actual bread making ingredients.

  16. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Yeah they do. I ordered a 3 foot club for a party last weekend & almost wasn’t able to get it. The reason? I had almost waited too long to place my order. The bread takes so may hours to rise, etc, etc…

  17. ringo00 says:

    Subway does bake their own breads. You can watch them do it at most stores. That bolt looks like it may have just fallen off of the inside of the proofing cabinet as the dough was rising and the employee didn’t see it before putting the tray of dough in the oven. Give the kid a new sammich and STFU.

  18. blackmage439 says:

    “The sandwich was express-mailed back to General Mills headquarters in Minnesota, where Subway’s bread is baked.”


    I was under the impression that ALL Subways bake their own bread. Sure, they arrive in boxes of like 100 frozen dough pieces, but a 3/4″ bolt would have been QUITE obvious to the person preparing those pieces for baking.

  19. subway does bake their own bread, but that doesn’t mean they actually make it from scratch at each store. I’m sure they’re delivered pre-baked from one of a few centralized food distributors and then baked on-site daily

  20. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    That is baking bread. They don’t say anything about the dough being made there.

  21. Draconianspark says:

    At least they got the whole bolt, and not just an isosceles bolt.

  22. dtmoore says:

    at least it sounds like he’s not going to sue. All it should be is “i found a bolt in my sandwhich, can I have a new sandwhich please?”

    I can see if it’s a rusty razor blade with aids that cuts your tounge off ending your career as a motivational speaker, but most lawsuits over this kind of thing are just rediculous

  23. midwestkel says:

    Did he get charged extra? I know they charge extra for everyhting.

  24. Rachael says:


    Which reminds me, I’m not a Subway person so I’ve missed it but many are complaining about the fact that the $5.00 deal is a trick in some way. How is this? Are you forced to buy drink/chips in order to get the deal?

  25. bukz68 says:

    @Jaysyn: Thanks. I was actually attempting to differentiate the differences in the way subway’s bread is “made” (at a factory then frozen) and then baked (at the actual store). The article insinuates that the bread is baked at General Mills which is incorrect.

    And as per your previous post about the party sub – each 3 ft portion takes about 45 minutes to make. Whoever told you “hours to rise” really just didn’t want to make your sub.

  26. SkokieGuy says:

    @Amry: You do ask a good question. Typically this pronoucement is made early on before all the facts are known. No company wants to admit fault at this early stage (let alone later, even if it is their fault). At the same time, I like many gag a bit every time I hear that canned phrase trotted out by a lazy PR department.

    You have thrown down the gauntlent! I’m also curious what Consumerist readers might suggest. Here’s mine, (generic, not specific to this Subway instance):

    We are distressed to hear of this customer’s unsatisfactory experience….

    We regret when any of our guests receive anything less than an excellent experience….

    If customer feels we have dissapointed them, we are concerned and are…

    We not only manufacture our XXX, we use it in our own homes and quality is paramount……

    We are a lying, evil cabal of snakes content to use child slave labor to make toxic products that cause misery, injury and death and would whore out our own grandmothers if it meant a bigger quarterly bonus. We’ve got your money and used it to buy off legislators so we have no fear of any consequences. We’re spending the rest of your dough on hookers and blow…….oh did we say this out loud? – We mispoke, what we meant to say we take your complaints very seriously…….

  27. mike says:

    @Amry: I think the mocking comes more from the fact that every body says it, but we rarely get any sort of follow-up. For example, when was the last time you got a follow-up from a company that said “they were taking it seriously?”

    I can’t recall a time.

  28. DoubleEcho says:

    Wait a minute – I thought they baked the bread in the store? At least the Subways around here do it that way.

  29. einstoch says:

    The question I’m asking is….how did the person that was making the sandwich not notice the damn bolt in the first place?

  30. cwlodarczyk says:

    Really? This is an issue worthy of Consumerist? I don’t think so.

    If Subway had charged extra for the bolt, had told him to screw himself, or some actual damage had occurred and pleas for recourse were unanswered, then this might belong here.

    As it is, this should be on the new sister site: “Crap Happens, Get Over It”.

  31. As many other posters have pointed out, I believe they bake all the bread at every individual store, so maybe the manager was lying to the customer to cover his ass?

  32. @einstoch: Yeah, no kidding?!

  33. LoganDX says:

    The bread comes in cases of frozen sticks,about 60 to a case. It gets proofed, then baked on site, no outsourcing of bread allowed.

    That bolt looks like one of the bolts that hold the side panels inside the proofer together. How that bolt got on the underside of the bread though is troubling. It would had to have been sitting there in the tray when they placed the frozen bread to thaw before proofing.

    Damn, I’m so glad I don’t work for the soul sucking death trap of Subway…

  34. mmstk101 says:

    Oh! So that’s what keeps breaking my teeth keep when I eat at Subway . . . . huh.

    To be fair, though, I’d probably rather find a metal bolt in my sandwich than, say, a cockroach or something.


  35. SkokieGuy says:

    @cwlodarczyk: So what exactly is a situation you deem worth of posting on this site? I’m sure Ben will stop all new posts until you provide this information.

    BTW – how upset are you? Are you going to cancel your Consumerist membership? Demand a refund?

  36. hatrack says:

    There’s a difference between baking their own bread and making it from scratch. They may get the raw loaves delivered to the stores and bake them onsite.

  37. sublicon says:

    I luh Subway.

  38. chrisjames says:

    Damn. I just had Subway today for the first time after a three year boycott of the chain for making terrible sandwiches.

    @Draconianspark: Best Subway comment ever.

  39. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @phelander: Ha! Winnar!

  40. Martine23 says:

    I can see something like that happening. That bolt sorta looks like it could have come off of the oven. Our Subway ovens were poorly made. I can see one of those bolts coming loose during the proofing process and getting stuck in the loaf.

  41. MikeB says:

    @Amry: I think the mocking the phrase comes from the fact that it comes after someone has to fight to be heard. In this case, at least from what I read in the synopsis, the managers didn’t make the customer bend over backwards to get a response.

  42. Buckus says:

    I am also wondering why the employee didn’t notice it in the first place. I mean, it’s not like the bread is completely out of view when they’re making the sandwich. They have to use a knife to open it and everything, I am pretty sure if I was working there I would have noticed a rusty bolt in a piece of bread before serving it to a customer.

  43. SJActress says:

    When I worked at Subway, the bread was sent to us in boxes, frozen and unrisen (is that even a word?). They looked like really long, ahem, dildos, basically.

    Then we’d put them into the proofer and on to baking.

    So, if it was baked INTO the bread and they use the above method, it happened in the store.

  44. buzzybee says:

    @MrEvil: I would be upset finding a foreign object in my food. It’s pretty gross and I’m not exactly sure who would find something like this acceptable.

    People expect to be compensated when they are wronged.

  45. JDAC says:

    @Buckus: If the last Subway I went to is any indication, the employee was probably bussed in from the special school and barely knows where he is, let alone if a bolt should be in the bread or not.

    And to add insult to injury, there’s nothing to the sub in the photo anyway!

  46. ChuckECheese says:

    @Nighthawke: I’m intrigued by the posts that say there are magnets that check for misplaced hardware on food production lines. Yet we still have bolts in our bread and gears in our frozen entrees. I think these magnets are apocryphal.

  47. bwcbwc says:

    Looks like we know now how Jared avoided anemia while on the Subway diet.

    Incidentally, they may bake the bread in-store, but they don’t prepare the dough.

  48. mikelotus says:

    Smells like BS

  49. Lambasted says:

    No one should have to crunch through a bolt while eating their sandwich, but it’s not like its a dead rat. Subway should give him coupons for about 5 free sandwiches and call it a day.

    I’ve found stuff in my food before and didn’t make a federal case about it. I got tired of crunching into some bone type material while eating McDs hamburgers. anymore. My teeth are very sensitive and it hurt to unexpectedly bite down on something hard when I wasn’t prepared for the impact. Result: I don’t eat them anymore.

    I opened a can of Healthy Choice soup and disturbingly saw something I could not identify (to this day I have no idea was it was). Result: I poured the soup down the drain, opened up another can (checking to make sure it had a different production reference number), and had dinner.

    Please don’t tell me we have become a country of whiners and cry babies. I understand companies are going to have mishaps. It’s only when they refuse to resolve a problem to my satisfaction do I get angry.

  50. thejakeman has died of dysentry says:

    @midwestkel: so true

    incidentally i live in the next town over from tracy. how cool.

  51. Paperclippe says:

    @MumbletyEmma @midwestkel: Subway doesn’t really charge you extra for anything you put on the sammich, else I would not eat there.

    And the five dollar subs are just five dollars. No drinks, no chips.

    Thankfully, as a vegetarian, my veggie delight is only $4.50. :D

  52. geoffhazel says:


    “The question I’m asking is….how did the person that was making the sandwich not notice the damn bolt in the first place”

    exactly what I was thinking. Even if it was on the bottom, it would “clank” onto the assembly line. Guess when you’re not expecting something like a freakin’ BOLT in the bread, it could be easy to overlook a random noise.

  53. Consumer007 says:

    Um did he think to get a lawyer and call the health department to shut them down? I would have…

  54. detraya says:


    no.. i had a footlong their today, it cost me 5.40. (40 cents in tax XD)

  55. Anonymous says:

    I went to the Rosedale Mall in Minnesota for a $5.00 sub as advertized on tv, flyers, radio and outside all stores. The Rosedale Subway has a sign saying they do not honor the $5.00 subway. Can a franchise do that??????