More than 400 Family Dollar stores have closed after more than 1,000 dead rodents were found at the Arkansas factory

More than 400 Family Dollar stores remained closed Monday after more than 1,000 dead rodents were discovered at a distribution facility in West Memphis, Arkansas. Several products sold at Family Dollar stores in six states are being voluntarily recalled, the Food and Drug Administration noted Friday.

The dead rodents were found after a fumigation of the discount retailer’s distribution center, the FDA said.

The company said it was not aware of any customer complaints or illnesses related to the issue.

The recall affects stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, as well as products purchased between January 1, 2021 and today.

The recall includes, but is not limited to:

  • FDA Approved Dietary Supplements
  • Cosmetics, including skin care products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos and baby wipes
  • Animal feed, including kibble, pet treats and wild bird seed
  • Medical devices, including feminine hygiene products, surgical masks, contact lens cleaning solutions, bandages and nasal care products
  • Over-the-counter medications, including pain relievers, eye drops, dental products, antacids, and other medications for adults and children

The FDA said it launched an investigation into the West Memphis, Arkansas, distribution center after receiving a consumer complaint in January. Inspectors found live rodents, dead rodents, “rodent droppings and urine, evidence of rodent gnawing, nesting and odors throughout the facility, dead birds, and droppings from birds, and products stored under conditions that did not protect against contamination,” the FDA said. After fumigating the facility, over 1,100 dead rodents were discovered.

Between March and September of last year, internal company records showed it found more than 2,300 rodents at the facility, the FDA said.

A few days after the arrival of the inspectors in the establishment, the distribution was interrupted. The FDA says it concluded its investigation on February 11.

“Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for things like food and medicine. They deserve safe products,” Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin said in the FDA statement. “No one should be subjected to products stored in the kind of unacceptable conditions we found at this Family Dollar fulfillment center.”

If you have purchased any of these products, you are advised not to use them and to discard them, the FDA said. Food in sealed containers is safe to use, but should be washed thoroughly. Once you have washed the food container, you should also wash your hands thoroughly.

Contamination by rodents can cause salmonella and infectious diseases. Anyone who has purchased these products and has health concerns should contact a healthcare professional immediately, the FDA said.

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