Posted on Feb 11, 2014

Numerous people around the country serve rice at dinner and in school lunch cafeterias. Rice is a common dinner food, especially the popular Uncle Ben’s Rice.

NBC news reports on the recall of Uncle Ben's Rice.

Numerous children became sick recently after consuming Uncle Ben’s Rice. The illnesses have caused the recall of Uncle Ben’s Rice products.

“Federal health officials are warning schools, hospitals and consumers not to use 5- and 25-pound bags of Uncle Ben’s infused flavored rice mixes after reports that 60 schoolchildren in [multiple] states have suffered allergic-style reactions since October,” according to NBC news.  

Schools across the country are supposed to be discarding the rice but many are unaware of the issue, which is why many children are still getting sick. Problems from the rice include: burning, itching, rashes, headaches and nausea. All Uncle Ben’s Rice products, especially those in large quantities and the Mexican rice flavor are possibly defective.

NBC explains what ingredient in the rice might be causing these issues, “In the Illinois case, FDA officials tested leftover rice and detected increased levels of niacin, or Vitamin B3, in the rice. On Monday, Mars Foodservices, the company that makes Uncle Ben’s products, recalled all bags and lot numbers of its infused rice produced in 2013.”

An FDA spokeswoman issued a statement saying, “Overexposure to niacin can lead to skin reactions such as redness and flushing, itching and dry skin. Very large doses can cause indigestion and nausea. The rice is typically sold to food service companies that distribute to restaurants, schools, hospitals and other large, commercial food service providers. However, the products may also be available over the Internet and at warehouse stores such as Sam's Club. Food service firms and consumers should not use the rice and should return it or dispose of it."

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Gerry Oginski
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