A massive warning has been issued for Family Dollar stores in six states, resulting in the temporary closure of more than 400 stores.
A rodent infestation at a Family Dollar warehouse in West Memphis, Arkansas, triggered a massive recall, the Food and Drug Administration said on its website.
The FDA warned consumers that “several categories of FDA-regulated products purchased from Jan. 1, 2021, through the present from Family Dollar stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee may be unsafe for consumers to use.”
The FDA release offered a wide-ranging list of products not to use.
“Some examples of these products include human foods (including dietary supplements (vitamin, herbal and mineral supplements)), cosmetics (skincare products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos, baby wipes), animal foods (kibble, pet treats, wild bird seed), medical devices (feminine hygiene products, surgical masks, contact lens cleaning solutions, bandages, nasal care products) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications (pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids, other medications for both adults and children),” the FDA release said.
The 404 affected stores will be temporarily closed as stores remove items from their shelves, Dollar Tree spokeswoman Kayleigh Campbell said, according to The Washington Post and The New York Times. Dollar Tree is the corporate parent of Family Dollar.
“We take situations like this very seriously and are committed to providing safe and quality products to our customers,” Campbell said in a statement. “We have been fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies in the resolution of this matter and are in the process of remediating the issue.”
In its release, the FDA said it focused upon the West Memphis, Arkansas, distribution center last month based on consumer complaints.
“Conditions observed during the inspection included live rodents, dead rodents in various states of decay, 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,” the FDA said in its release.
The FDA noted that after the warehouse was fumigated last month, more than 1,100 dead rodents were collected.
The FDA said that records showing the collection of more than 2,300 dead rodents between March and September of last year showed “a history of infestation.”
The FDA said consumers should contact Family Dollar stores concerning the products covered by the recall.
“The agency is also advising that all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and dietary supplements, regardless of packaging, be discarded. Food in non-permeable packaging (such as undamaged glass or all-metal cans) may be suitable for use if thoroughly cleaned and sanitized,” the agency said.
“Consumers who recently purchased affected products should contact a health care professional immediately if they have health concerns after using or handling impacted products,” the agency warned.
In a release, Family Dollar said consumers with questions can contact Family Dollar Customer Service at 844-636-7687 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
“Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for products such as food and medicine. They deserve products that are safe,” Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin said.
“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. We will continue to work to protect consumers.”
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