One of America’s Most Popular Rice Brands is Full of Toxic Chemicals: FDA Recall.
Uncle Ben’s rice has been a staple in many American households for years, but now their ‘fortified’ rice variety has been proven to be full of toxic constituents that cause headaches, nausea, and skin rashes, among other undesirable symptoms. The FDA is issuing a recall, just days after the product was reported to be loaded with heavy metals. Uncle Ben isn’t so family friendly, it turns out.
The rice is also full of MSG, toxic arsenic, and synthetic B vitamins. Within the FDA’s recall notice, the public school illnesses associated with rice consumption were mentioned:
“On Feb. 7, 2014, the FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE) was notified of a cluster of illnesses at three public schools in Katy, Texas. Thirty-four students and four teachers experienced burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea for 30 to 90 minutes, before the symptoms went away. Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor with the lot number 351EKGRV01, made by Mars Foodservices of Greenville, Miss., was the common food item eaten by ill students.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health has also now reported several children getting ill from eating Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice to the CDC:
“On Dec. 4, 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health notified CDC of 25 children with similar skin reactions following a school lunch that served an Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice product. North Dakota reported a similar incident that occurred on Oct. 30, 2013. Three children in a daycare and one college student experienced flushing reactions 45 minutes after consuming an Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice product.”
The FDA’s recall covers multiple flavors of Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice, including:
- Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (5- and 25-pounds)
- Rice Garlic & Butter Flavor (5-pounds)
- Rice Mexican Flavor (5- and 25-pounds)
- Rice Pilaf (5-pounds)
- Rice Saffron Flavor (5-pounds)
- Rice Cheese Flavor (5-pounds)
- Rice Spanish Flavor (25-pounds)
Additional Requested Information
Here is additional information you can find in a press release sent out of by by Mars Foodservices (makers of the rice). The information is posted per request of a PR agency representative working on behalf of Mars Foodservices, who emailed NaturalSociety:
“Mars Foodservices US is voluntarily recalling Foodservices UNCLE BEN’S® INFUSED® Rice products, which are only sold in 5 lbs and 25 lbs bags. UNCLE BEN’S® Brand Ready to Heat, Boxed, Bag or Cup Products available in supermarkets and other retail outlets are not involved. Our Foodservices Products are manufactured separately and are sold through wholesale distribution channels.
…Mars Foodservices US is conducting this voluntary recall as a result of people experiencing temporary symptoms of mild flushing and rash after eating our Foodservices INFUSED® Rice Mexican Flavor product.
…UNCLE BEN’S® Brand Ready to Heat, Boxed, Bag or Cup Products available in supermarkets and other retail outlets are not involved in this voluntary recall and are safe to consume. Our Foodservices Products are manufactured separately and are sold through wholesale distribution channels.
…Mars Foodservices US will provide reimbursements or replacement product.
…What caused consumers to have this reaction?
It appears that the reaction may be related to an excessive amount of niacin enrichment of the product. Tests of samples of the product involved in the December incident indicated a higher than normal amount of niacin in the product. Enrichment of rice with niacin is required under federal and state standards. “