plate of uncle bens rice

According to a recent news story from Providence Eyewitness News (WPRI), the FDA has announced a warning against eating certain Uncle Ben’s rice products (i). This warning is aimed towards products sold at whole sale distributors, supermarkets remain unaffected. This rice product is more commonly served at schools, restaurants and other similar institutions. Mars Foodservices, the manufacturer, pulled all of the 5-25 pound bags sold through a whole sale distribution and online. This voluntary recall mostly affected food service companies and warehouse retail stores like “Sam’s Club.” Items sold at Grocery stores were not recalled.

School Children and Teachers Suffer Food-Related Side Effects

food poisoning side effects

On February 7, 2014, the FDA received complaints that multiple students and staff at a school in Texas had experienced rashes, itching, nausea and headaches shortly after consuming the rice product in the cafeteria. The symptoms eventually subsided. Similar reports were received from a school in Illinois just a few months prior. An FDA investigation into these events concluded that the reactions were caused by an overexposure to Niacin. This can cause skin reactions and in very large doses it causes nausea. Niacin is a chemical that is put in food, a common and necessary vitamin. However when too much of the vitamin is put into products it can cause adverse reactions.

Niacin Overexposure

Federal and state standards for the production of rice require that the white rice contain the vitamin Niacin. In this case, an overage of Niacin was put into these particular Uncle Bens rice products, resulting in adverse side effects. Symptoms to look for if you believe you may have been affected are rash on the face or body, itching, burning, headaches and nausea.

You will usually manifest these symptoms about 30-90 minutes after the consumption of the contaminated rice. If you or a loved one has experienced serious injuries due to the consumption of the Uncle Bens or any other contaminated products, it is important to contact a food poisoning lawyer. An attorney will give you the legal advice you need and talk to you about the strengths of your case.

Food Recall: What You Need to Know

Not all Uncle Bens rice products were recalled, it was specifically limited to the “Flavor Infused” products. That includes:

  • Roasted Chicken
  • Garlic and Butter
  • Mexican
  • Saffron
  • Cheese
  • Spanish and Rice Pilaf

This was a voluntary recall on behalf of the manufacturer (Mars Foodservices) to make sure that the product is no longer consumed by the public. The FDA is continuing to investigate the three separate reported incidents.

Were You Exposed to a Foodborne Illness and Need a Lawyer?

personal injury lawyerIf you or a loved one believe that a contaminated product or foodborne illness have caused your injuries, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your injuries. You may be entitled to damages such as medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. d’Oliveira and Associates can help you with your claim.

Please contact us at 1-800-992-6878, stop by one of our 15 locations, or fill out a contact form for a free (no obligation) legal consultation. There are no legal fees until you receive a settlement or award.

Providence Personal Injury Lawyers | d’Oliveira & Associates

390 Broadway,
Providence, RI 02909

Phone: (401) 831-8600


  • (i) WPRI, February 10, 2014.
Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars