Students at three Katy ISD schools sickened by lunches


A district spokeswoman says students developed an itchy rash and mild fever after consuming Uncle Ben's Mexican Infused Rice at lunchtime. Some students also experienced shortness of breath.

Parent Billy Bown's daughter was among the students who fell ill.

"She was really red in the face. Her ears were really red," Bown said. "She hadn't had rash like that before."

The district said the Uncle Ben's rice was on a voluntary recall list, but the Katy ISD food and nutrition department did not know that before serving the rice.

"It's scary because the food should be safe," another parent told us.

The students who were sickened attend Wolman, Morton Ranch, and Kilpatrick elementary schools.

Symptoms included a skin rash with itching and a sensation of warmness without fever. The district says each student's situation appeared to improve with water and a short period of time. However, some students were sent home to their parents prior to the end of the school day.

"The principal actually called earlier tonight and just checked up on her," Bown said.

Bown said he's not upset; he's pleased in how the district handled the mistake.

"They definitely communicated with us and showed a lot of compassion," Bown said.

The district said it did not know about the rice recall since its food distributor did not notify them of any recall. It issued a statement which read in part:

"While our Food Services Department has provided Uncle Ben's Mexican Infused Rice as a meal component in the past, we are continuing to collect additional information and investigate the product modifications that was made by the Uncle Ben rice manufacture that led to students' food reaction."

A Katy ISD spokeswoman says none of the affected students had to be transported to the hospital.

No tests were done on the rice or the children.

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