Uncle Ben’s Rice Recalled by FDA After Children Experience Rashes and Nausea

Last week, 34 students and four teachers in Katy, Texas, experienced burning, itching rashes, headaches, and nausea after eating the rice.

Photo: PRNewsFoto/Mars Foodservices US

Photo: PRNewsFoto/Mars Foodservices US

The FDA is warning against eating Uncle Ben’s rice products served at schools, restaurants, hospitals, and other food service institutions after schoolchildren in four different states experienced nausea, skin irritation, and illness from the rice.

Although many were worried that the reactions were caused by an excess of niacin (vitamin b3) in the rice, the FDA reports that the levels are not high enough to cause nausea.

The Associated Press reports:

The FDA said that 34 students and four teachers in Katy, Texas, had experienced burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea for 30 to 90 minutes after eating the rice on Feb. 6. The symptoms eventually went away.

The problem lies in the industrial-sized bags of Uncle Ben’s shipped out to hospitals, schools, and restaurants. The recall applies to 5- and 25-pound bags of rice, usually reserved for commercial use. The products include “roasted chicken flavor, garlic and butter flavor, Mexican flavor, saffron flavor, cheese flavor, Spanish flavor and Uncle Ben’s Rice Pilaf.”

In the last few months, incidents within schools have occurred in North Dakota, Illinois, Texas, and California.

While FDA and Mars Foodservice work to remove the dangerous rice from vendor warehouses, they advise against purchasing the large bags of rice from online dealers like Amazon. So don’t go serving Uncle Ben’s at your school cafeteria or restaurant, unless you want itching, vomiting students and customers.

[via Jezebel, ABC News]

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