Uncle Ben's is one of the most popular brands of microwavable rice in the UK - however, some packets are now being recalled due to fears that they could contain glass.
This is everything you need to know - and how to check if you’re affected by the recall.
Why are packets of Uncle Ben's being recalled?
Mars Food UK, which owns the brand Uncle Ben's, is recalling pouches of the ready to heat rice due to the fact that they may contain pieces of glass, which presents a safety risk, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The FSA explains that “the possible presence of glass makes this product unsafe to eat.”
The manufacturer's announcement says that this is a “voluntary recall” from Mars Food UK.
“This is a precautionary recall due to the possibility of the presence of glass,” the notice states.
How to check if you’re affected
The specific packs of Uncle Ben's rice being recalled are the brown basmati variety.
The recalled packets of microwavable brown basmati rice are all 250g, and have the following best before dates:
- 17 November 2020
- 8 December 2020
- 9 December 2020
- 8 January 2021
- 18 January 2021
- 19 January 2021
- 2 March 2021
- 16 March 2021
- 20 March 2021
- 24 May 2021
- 14 June 2021
- 15 June 2021
- 3 July 2021
- 19 July 2021
No other Uncle Ben's products are affected by the product recall, so if you have not bought a packet of the microwavable brown basmati rice with the above best before dates, then you’re in the clear.
What to do if you have recalled packets of rice
The customer notice posted by the manufacturer states that if you are affected by the product recall, then you should dispose of the rice and get in touch with the Uncle Ben's consumer care line for a full refund. The consumer care line phone number is 0800 952 1234.
Alternatively, you can return the products to the store where you bought them for a full refund.
Uncle Ben's changing its packaging
Mars Food UK recently announced that the Uncle Ben's brand would be evolving, in order to help “put an end to racial bias and injustices.”
The Uncle Brand mascot, who is depicted as a black rice grower, has long since been criticised since first appearing on the brand’s packaging in 1940.
In the announcement, Mars Food UK said, “As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognise that now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including it’s visual brand identity, which we will do.”
Exact timings and changes are yet to be announced, but the company said that it is “evaluating all possibilities.”
The announcement continued, “Racism has no place in society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our Associates and our partners in the fight for social justice.
“We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us - individuals, communities and organisations of all sizes around the world.”