Niacin blamed for symptoms
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is warning against eating Uncle Ben’s rice products served at schools, restaurants, hospitals and other food service institutions after children in three states had skin reactions and other symptoms linked to the rice.
Mars Foodservices of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., is recalling 5- and 25-pound bags of the rice. The bags are mostly sold to food service establishments, but they are also available to consumers over the Internet and in some warehouse-type retailers. Uncle Ben’s products in grocery stores are not linked to the illnesses.
The FDA said 34 students and four teachers in Katy, Texas, experienced burning, itching rashes, headaches and nausea after eating the rice on Feb. 6. The agency said it is still investigating but they found an excess of niacin in Uncle Ben’s food service rice linked to similar reactions in Illinois children in December.