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Uncle Ben's infused rice products recalled after 'allergic-like' reactions

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
February 10, 2014 -- Updated 0604 GMT (1404 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The flavored rice products are sold in large bags through wholesale distributors
  • The recall doesn't involve Uncle Ben's brand products sold at supermarkets
  • People at Houston schools developed mild flushing and rashes after eating the rice
  • The manufacturer says "a limited amount" of the rice is on sale online and at wholesale stores

(CNN) -- The company that makes some Uncle Ben's products says it is recalling bags of flavored rice after people developed flushing and rashes after eating one of the rice varieties.

The affected products, known as Uncle Ben's Infused Rice, are sold in 5 pound and 25 pound bags through wholesale distributors, said Mars Foodservices, the company that produces them.

The recall doesn't involve Uncle Ben's brand products sold in supermarkets -- such as ready to heat, boxed, bag or cup items -- which are manufactured separately, the company said in a statement.

Mars Foodservices said it found out last week that some people at three Houston schools had "experienced allergic-like symptoms of mild flushing and rash" after eating Uncle Ben's Mexican Flavor Infused Rice.

At that point, the company said, it decided to remove all its infused riced products from the supply chain.

"Our network of distributors, brokers, and sales associates immediately started notifying their customers and collecting the product," Mars Foodservices said.

But the company found that "a limited amount" of the rice is on sale through websites and at some wholesale stores.

"Therefore, we initiated the voluntary recall to ensure that anyone in possession of the product is aware that it should not be served or eaten, but returned to where it was purchased," Mars Foodservices said.

The company said it is "continuing to work closely" with the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the matter.

Besides the Mexican flavor, Uncle Ben's infused rice comes in roasted chicken, pilaf, saffron, cheese, Spanish and garlic and butter varieties.

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