Students sickened by tainted school lunch

KATY, Texas (CNN) — Dozens of students at three elementary schools in southeast Texas got sick after eating lunch and school officials believe recalled rice may have been to blame.


Right after lunch in the school cafeterias, the complaints started flooding in. Students had difficulty breathing, rashes, itching and were overheating.

“It’s alarming. You don’t want your children being sick from food served in the school,” said Chika Banor, a parent of one of the ill students.

Katy Independent School District officials say that within hours of the outbreak, they tied the sickness to the Uncle Ben’s Infused Mexican Rice served at lunch and believed that the 50 children had an allergic reaction.

School officials say they searched the internet and found out that the rice manufacturer issued a voluntary recall of the product one month ago.

As a policy, the district says that they rely on their food distributor to notify them of all recalls.

Local 2 News tracked down the recall notice from the distributor and the company said they alerted all of their clients about the recall. But, the district says they never received that alert.

They are now investigating and trying to figure out what happened and who is at fault.

“Hopefully, I think they’ll investigate that and make sure that doesn’t happen anymore. Thank God my kids are fine,” said Emmanuel Rex, parent of an ill student.

This is a scary scenario for parents who trust the school to feed their children healthy lunches.

“We do not what they eat or what happens with what is served. It’s a relief that it’s not there anymore, that I know about it,” said Banor.


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