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Uncle Ben's rice recall: Infused varieties blamed for food poisoning symptoms

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Uncle Ben's is an American favorite when it comes to rice, but some varieties of the popular brand are now subject to a massive, nationwide recall.

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Mars Foodservices recalled all Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice varieties. The recall includes five- and 25-pound bags of these products.

Other Uncle Ben's brands, including Ready to Heat, boxed, or cup rice are not part of the recall.

The recall was issued following illnesses 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.

The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently investigating the illness and its cause.

The Texas 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 was also reported to the FDA.

Here is a list of all affected products, which were produced in 2013:

  • UNCLE BEN’S INFUSED Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (5- and 25-pounds)
  • UNCLE BEN’S INFUSED Rice Garlic & Butter Flavor (5-pounds)
  • UNCLE BEN’S INFUSED Rice Mexican Flavor (5- and 25-pounds)
  • UNCLE BEN’S INFUSED Rice Pilaf (5-pounds)
  • UNCLE BEN’S INFUSED Rice Saffron Flavor (5-pounds)
  • UNCLE BEN’S INFUSED Rice Cheese Flavor (5-pounds)
  • UNCLE BEN'S INFUSED Rice Spanish Flavor (25-pounds)

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.