School sickness leads to Uncle Ben’s Rice recall

The Texas Department of State Health Services has recalled certain varieties of the rice.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has recalled certain varieties of the rice.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to be aware of a recent nationwide recall of 5- and 25-pound bags of Uncle Ben’s infused rice products that were distributed in Texas and possibly other states.

The company issued the voluntarily recall Feb. 7, following a cluster of mild illness reported late last week among Katy schoolchildren and staff after they ate the rice at school lunch. Reported symptoms included burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea. The symptoms appeared shortly after eating the product and passed within 30 to 90 minutes. The cause of the illness is undetermined at this time.

The recall is for large-sized bags packaged primarily for institutional settings like schools, nursing homes, hospitals and prisons, but the products also have been sold to consumers online and at certain warehouse club retailers.

People should not eat any of the recalled products and should discard any they have on hand.

The recalled rice was sold in bags labeled with the Uncle Ben’s brand. The recall includes all of the following, regardless of lot numbers, produced since Jan. 1, 2013:

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (5- and 25-pound bags)

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Garlic and Butter Flavor (5-pound bags)

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor (5- and 25-pound bags)

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Pilaf (5-pound bags)

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Saffron Flavor (5-pound bags)

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Cheese Flavor (5-pound bags)

–Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Spanish Flavor (25-pound bags

DSHS is not aware of any serious illness or hospitalizations associated with the recalled products. DSHS is coordinating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the recall and investigation and is working to ensure people are aware of the recall.

A separate, earlier recall by the company was issued Jan. 2 and included Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor.

People who have questions about the recall can call contact the company or the retail location of purchase. Institutions and retailers should contact their distributors.

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