October 21, 2018

Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Sickens School Children

Several varieties of Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice have been recalled after reports that school children in IL and TX became ill after eating the rice for lunch, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recalled products were sold in 5-pound and 25-pound bags to restaurants, schools, hospitals and other institutional foodservice operations. They were also sold online to warehouse retailers. Uncle Ben’s brand ready- to-heat products sold in  boxes, bags or cups at grocery stores are not part of the recall.

uncle-ben's-rice-recallThe recalled products were produced during 2013 and include: Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor in 5-pound and 25-pound bags; Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Garlic and Butter Flavor in 5-pound bags; Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor 5-pound and 25-pound bags; Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Pilaf in 5-pound bags; Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Saffron Flavor in 5-pound bags and Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Spanish Flavor in 25-pound bags.

The products are being recalled because children in two states who ate the rice for school lunch became ill. The Texas department of health believes the products may contain too much niacin.

On Feb. 7, 34 children and four teachers from three public schools in Katy, TX developed  burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea after eating Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor. The symptoms lasted 30 to 90 minutes.

On Dec. 4, 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 25 children had similar skin reactions following a school lunch where an Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice product was served.  And on October 30, 2103, three children in day care and one college student had flushing reactions 45 minutes after they ate an Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice product.

The products were distributed to a number of states. Consumers or institutions that have purchased any of the recalled products should not eat them.


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