Mars Foodservices recalls infused rice due to possible illness

February 11, 2014

Mars Foodservices US is voluntarily recalling Foodservices Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice products, which are only sold in 5-lb and 25-lb bags. Uncle Ben’s brand ready-to-heat, boxed, bag, or cup products available in supermarkets and other retail outlets are not involved. Only the following Foodservices products are impacted:

  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (25-lb), U3010501
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Roasted Chicken Flavor (5-lb), U0257000
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Garlic & Butter Flavor (5-lb), U0257100
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor (25-lb), U0318000
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor (5-lb), U0257300
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Pilaf (5-lb), U0262000
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Saffron Flavor (5-lb), U0263002
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Cheese Flavor (5-lb), U0262900
  • Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Spanish Flavor (25-lb), U3012100

Mars Foodservices US is conducting this voluntary recall as a result of people experiencing temporary symptoms of mild flushing and rash after eating its Foodservices Infused Rice Mexican Flavor product.

On Feb. 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 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 30–90 min 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.

On Dec. 4, 2013, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 min after consuming an Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice product. A statement from Mars Foodservices said the illnesses may be related to high levels of niacin, or Vitamin B3, in the rice.

Press release