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Uncle Ben issues voluntary recall: Rice products causing illness in children

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Uncle Ben’s is known for its rice products and has now issued a voluntary recall of the “Infused Rice Mexican Flavor” packages. There have been reports of illnesses in children and students after ingesting this particular flavored rice.

The symptoms that were reported included headaches, nausea and skin reactions after eating Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavored rice. According to news reports from the University Herald and the Washington Post on Feb. 10 thirty-four students and four teachers from Katy, Texas have gotten ill after eating the rice. Their symptoms lasted between thirty minutes and one hour and this isn’t the first time this product has had a reverse reaction of consumers.

The USDA Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network have received reports of this occurrence. Last year the Illinois Department of Health had notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when twenty-five children came down with reactions from the Mexican flavored rice during their school lunch and another three children had similar reactions when served the same product in North Dakota.

The FDA, the CDC, and state and local officials in Texas have are investigating these illnesses associated with Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Mexican Flavor that are sold in five and twenty-five pound bags. They said: “it found an excess of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, in Uncle Ben’s rice linked to similar reactions in 25 Illinois school children in December. The FDA said overexposure to niacin can cause skin reactions, and very large doses can cause indigestion and nausea”.

This recalled product isn’t just limited to the Mexican flavored rice; it also includes other flavor- infused rice products such as those labels with: roasted chicken flavor, garlic and butter flavor, saffron flavor, cheese flavor, Spanish flavor and Uncle Ben’s Rice Pilaf.

Too much spice isn’t making this rice nice- stay aware and healthy!

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

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