Feb. 9, 2014
DSHS Warns of Recalled Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Products
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 rice may contain high levels of niacin that could cause illness in certain people. The company voluntarily issued the recall Feb. 7 following a cluster of mild illnesses reported late last week among Katy schoolchildren and staff after they ate the rice at school lunch.
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 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 Spanish Flavor (25-pound bags)
Overexposure to niacin can lead to skin reactions such as redness and flushing, itching and dry skin. The symptoms appear shortly after eating the product and usually pass within 30 to 90 minutes. Large doses can cause indigestion and nausea. People with impaired liver function could experience more serious effects including liver injury.
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.