Rodent infestation leads to recalls at more than 400 Family Dollar stores

Rodent infestation leads to recalls at more than 400 Family Dollar stores

A woman walks by a Family Dollar store on December 11, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Discount chain Family Dollar is voluntarily recalling several of its products that shipped to more than 400 stores in the South after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation uncovered a rodent infestation at a distribution center in Arkansas.

In addition to the recall, Family Dollar on Saturday also temporarily closed the 404 affected locations, according to the New York Times. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The FDA said in a release Friday that it recently inspected the facility in West Memphis, Arkansas, after it received a consumer complaint. According to the agency, regulators found live and dead rodents “in various states of decay.” They also found “rodent feces and urine, evidence of gnawing, nesting and rodent odors throughout the facility, dead birds and bird droppings, and products stored in conditions that did not protect against contamination.”

More than 1,100 dead rodents were found following a fumigation at the facility in January 2022, the agency said. Regulators also discovered what appeared to be “a history of infestation,” it said. A review of the company’s internal records indicated the collection of more than 2,300 rodents from March to September of last year.

“No one should be subjected to products stored in the kind of unacceptable conditions that we found in this Family Dollar distribution facility. These conditions appear to be violations of federal law that could put families’ health at risk,” Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin said in a statement. Rodent contamination can cause salmonella and other infections diseases, the FDA said. Family Dollar said it was not aware of any reports of illness related to the recall.

Family Dollar said in a release Friday that products covered by the recall include all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, dietary supplements and human and animal food products that were stored and shipped from the center to 404 stores across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The alert covers purchases from Family Dollar stores in those six states from Jan. 1 of this year to the present. Products shipped directly to the store by the distributor or manufacturer aren’t included. The recalls also don’t extend to any other locations.

“Family Dollar is notifying its affected stores by letter asking them to check their stock immediately and to quarantine and discontinue the sale of any affected product. Customers that may have bought affected product may return such product to the Family Dollar store where they were purchased without receipts,” the company said.

A full list of the affected locations can be found here.

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