The makers of Uncle Ben’s rice have recalled various versions of the product that were only sold on the wholesale market following multiple incidents where numerous people fell ill after eating the rice at school lunchrooms.
The recall involves several varieties of Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice products, but only those sold at wholesale in 5-lb and 25-lb bags. Uncle Ben’s rice sold in smaller bags at supermarkets and other retail locations is not being recalled.
USA Today reports that the most recent incident involving suspected rice-related illnesses occurred last Friday, when children at three different schools in Katy, TX, experienced burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea.
While it’s too soon to say that all the incidents are related to the same source or exactly what the problem with the rice is, it’s possible that the illnesses may be due to too much niacin (vitamin B3) in the rice. The FDA found high levels of the vitamin in the Illinois rice.
“Overexposure to niacin can lead to skin reactions such as redness and flushing, itching and dry skin,” a rep for the FDA explains. “Very large doses can cause indigestion and nausea.”
Any foodservice company or anyone that purchased the following products (in the 5-lb or 25-lb size; again, all other variations are not included in the recall) from a wholesaler or distributor should not eat, says the FDA.
Here are the recalled varieties of the rice:
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (25-lbs) U3010501
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (5 lbs) U0257000
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Garlic & Butter Flavor (5-lbs) U0257100
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Mexican Flavor (25-lbs) U0318000
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Mexican Flavor (5-lbs) U0257300
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Pilaf (5-lbs) U0262000
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Saffron Flavor (5-lbs) U0263002
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Cheese Flavor (5-lbs) U0262900
UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice Spanish Flavor (25-lbs) U3012100