The Food and Drug Administration is recalling all bags and lot numbers of Uncle Ben's Infused Rice products produced last year, after they've been linked to dozens of illnesses in Texas, Illinois and North Dakota.
The FDA is warning food service companies and consumers not to use the following Uncle Ben's products (which are most commonly sold to food service companies that then distribute to schools, hospitals and other places, but can be purchased online by consumers):
Five- and 25-pound bags of:
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Roasted Chicken flavor
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Mexican flavor
Five-pound bags of:
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Garlic & Butter Flavor
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Pilaf
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Saffron flavor
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Cheese flavor
Twenty-five pound bags of:
- Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Spanish flavor
Photos of the affected products can be found here.
Anyone who has purchased the products mentioned above can return them to the place where they were purchased, or they should be thrown away, the FDA said. Ready to Heat, Boxed, Cup and Bag Uncle Ben's products are not affected by the recall.
The Uncle Ben's Infused Rice products have been linked with symptoms of nausea, skin flushing, red rash that itches/burns and headache; the onset of the symptoms occurs "very shortly after consuming the rice produce product and pass within 30 to 90 minutes," according to the FDA warning.
Three incidents were associated with consumption of the Uncle Ben's products. In one of them, 34 students and four teachers experienced the aforementioned symptoms at three schools in Katy, Texas. All of them had eaten Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor (lot number 351EKGRV01); the FDA was notified of this incident on Feb. 7, 2014.
In another incident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified on Dec. 4, 2013 of 25 children in Illinois who experienced the skin reaction symptoms after they consumed Uncle Ben's Infused rice as part of a school lunch.
In the third incident, three children and one college student consumed Uncle Ben's infused rice and experienced the flushing symptoms in North Dakota; that incident occurred Oct. 30, 2013.