WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday warned food service companies and consumers not to use certain lots of Uncle Ben's infused rice that are linked to "a cluster of illnesses" among students in Texas.
The FDA said in a statement that 34 students and four teachers in Katy, Texas, "experienced burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea for 30 to 90 minutes" last Friday after eating Uncle Ben's Infused Rice Mexican Flavor products that are sold in 5- and 25-pound bags.
Mars Foodservices, the company that makes Uncle Ben's products, is recalling all lot numbers of its infused rice. It said the illnesses may be related to high levels of niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, in the rice.
The FDA said these products are sold to food service companies that typically distribute to restaurants, schools, hospitals and other commercial establishments. However, the products may also be available over the Internet and at warehouse-type retailers.
Uncle Ben's ready to heat, boxed, bag or cup products sold at grocery stores and other retail outlets are not linked to the illnesses and are not being recalled.
This is the third such incident linked to the Uncle Ben's rice product in the past few months. In December, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that 25 children suffered similar skin reactions following a school lunch that served an Uncle Ben's Infused Rice product.
One month before that, North Dakota reported that three children in a daycare and one college student experienced flushing reactions 45 minutes after consuming the product.