FDA investigating illnesses after Uncle Ben’s rice recalled

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the illnesses of children in three states in recent months that have been linked to Uncle Ben’s infused rice served in schools.

The cluster of illnesses have affected children in Texas, Illinois and North Dakota. At three schools in Katy, Texas, 34 students and four teachers experienced skin reactions, burning, headaches and nausea last week after eating Uncle Ben’s “Mexican flavor” infused rice.

The symptoms lasted about 90 minutes, officials said.

Similar reactions were reported at an Illinois school in December and a daycare center in North Dakota in October.


Mars Foodservices, which produces the product, has recalled 5- and 25-pound bags of various rice products primarily sold to schools, restaurants, hospitals and other commercial establishments. The products, however, can also be found at warehouse retail outlets, the FDA said.

They include the company’s roasted chicken, garlic and butter, cheese and Spanish flavors. A full list of the recalled rice items can be found here. The company is recalling all bags and all lot numbers of the products produced in 2013.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating the illnesses, the FDA said.