The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Mars Foodservices today issued a recall of all Uncle Ben's Infused Rice. The recall pertains to both five- and 25-pound bags of such rice. Other types of Uncle Ben rice, including Ready to Heat, boxed, or cup rice are not part of the recall.
The recall was issued following illnesses reported in Katy, Texas public schools. According to the FDA, children and teachers who had consumed Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Mexican Flavor experienced burning, itchy rashes, headaches, and nausea for up to an hour-and-a-half. The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently investigating the illness and its cause.
This latest incident follows a December 2013 case in which 25 children at an Illinois school experienced similar symptoms after consuming Uncle Ben's Infused Rice. Another case in October involving several children at a North Dakota daycare facility was also reported to the FDA.
Uncle Ben's Infused Rice is most commonly distributed to schools, restaurants, and hospitals through food service companies. All flavors of the product are subject to the recall, including roasted chicken, garlic & butter, mexican, pilaf, saffron, cheese, and spanish.
The FDA is recommending that the recalled rice be returned to distributors or, in the case of individual consumers, to the place where it was purchased. Consumers may also simply dispose of the rice themselves.
Image via Mars