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Uncle Ben’s Rice Products Recalled

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The company that makes a popular brand of rice is issuing a recall after consumers who ate the rice reported developing rashes.

Mars Foodservices announced it is recalling bags of Uncle Ben’s flavored rice after people developed flushing and rashes after eating one of the rice flavors, CNN reported.

The affected products, sold as Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice, come in 5 pound and 25 pound bags through wholesale distributors, according to Mars Foodservices.

The company stressed that the recall doesn’t involve Uncle Ben’s brand products sold in supermarkets – such as ready to heat, boxed, bag or cup items. The company said in a statement that those products are manufactured separately. In its recall notice, Mars Foodservices said it found out last week that multiple people at three Houston schools had “experienced allergic-like symptoms of mild flushing and rash” after consuming Uncle Ben’s Mexican Flavor Infused Rice, CNN reported.

In all, 34 students and four teachers reported suffering from itchy rashes, burning, nausea and headaches from time periods ranging from 30-90 minutes. This is not the first time the rice product has been linked to adverse reactions in children. On December 4, the Illinois Department of Public Health informed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 25 children experienced itching, rashes, burns and other skin reactions after consuming a school lunch that included Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice product.

Upon finding out about the adverse reactions, the company decided to remove all its infused riced products from the supply chain, Mars Foodservices said. The company said it’s network of distributors, brokers, and sales associates immediately started notifying their customers and collecting the product.

Although the company said it acted immediately, it admitted that a limited amount of the rice remains on sale through websites and at some wholesale stores. Because of this, the company initiated the voluntary recall to ensure that anyone in possession of the product is aware that it should not be served or eaten, but returned to where it was purchased, Mars Foodservices said in a statement. In addition to the Mexican flavor, Uncle Ben’s infused rice comes in roasted chicken, pilaf, saffron, cheese, Spanish and garlic and butter varieties, CNN reported.

The company said it is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the matter. The cause of the symptoms and its long-term effects are not currently known, but early reports indicate that a vitamin overdose could be responsible, according to a USA Today report. The same report indicated that the FDA tested some of the leftover rice from the Illinois school and found increased levels of niacin (Vitamin B3). An FDA spokesperson told US Today that overexposure to B3 can lead to skin reactions such as itching and dry skin. disclaimer: This article: Uncle Ben’s Rice Products Recalled was posted on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 at 8:13 pm at and is filed under Food Poisoning Lawsuits.

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