RODENT INFESTATION IN FAMILY DOLLAR DISTRIBUTION CENTER FORCES CLOSURE OF HUNDREDS OF STORES

The Family Dollar store chain has temporarily closed more than 400 stores in six states after more than 1,000 rodents were found inside a Family Dollar distribution facility in Arkansas, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)  announced on Friday.

The chain issued a voluntary recall affecting items purchased from hundreds of stores in the south. The recall is tied to the rodent infestation in stores serviced by the distribution center. The store locations are in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The chain’s voluntary recall affects items purchased from the 404 stores that Family Dollar listed in a news release, as stores that may have sold products from the contaminated facility. The FDA said it is working with Family Dollar on the voluntary recall of affected products.

A consumer complaint prompted officials to inspect the West Memphis, Arkansas facility, in January, the FDA said in a news release. Inside the building, inspectors said they found live rodents, dead rodents in “various states of decay,” rodent feces, dead birds and bird droppings.

After fumigating the facility, more than 1,000 dead rodents were recovered, officials said. “No one should be subjected to products stored in the kind of unacceptable conditions that we found in this Family Dollar distributing facility,” said Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, Judith McMeekin.

The products affected included human food, pet food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, medical devices and over-the-counter medications that were purchased in January or February from the stores in the above listed six states. 

The company said it “is not aware of any consumer complaints or reports of illness related to this recall.” FDA said food in non-permeable packaging “may be suitable for use if thoroughly cleaned.” Regardless of packaging, all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and dietary supplements should be thrown away, officials said.

“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,” the company said. “Customers that may have brought affected products may return such product to the Family Dollar store where they were purchased without receipt.”

Dollar General spokesperson Kayleigh Campbell said in a statement, “We take situations like this very seriously and are committed to providing safe and quality products to our customers. We have been fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies in the resolution of this matter and are in the process of remediating the issue.”

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