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FDA Finds 1,100 Dead Rats in Family Dollar Warehouse

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Family Dollar is an American variety store chain-Family Dollar-SS-Featured

A Family Dollar warehouse ended up with a rodent infestation problem. This led to the discount chain closing around 400 stores and issuing recalls on a wide variety of products. The affected stores involve outlets throughout the southern United States.

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Rat Infestation In Arkansas Distribution Center 

The rat infestation at its Arkansas distribution center led Family Dollar to close more than 400 stores in six states. Owned by retail giant Dollar Tree, Family Dollar also announced a voluntary recall of products that originated from its West Memphis facility. 

The recall will cover Food and Drug Administration-regulated products. This includes medicine, pet food, and cosmetics sold between January 2021 and February 2022. Affected Family Dollar stores are those in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Consumer Complaint on Family Dollar Led To FDA Investigation

The FDA received a complaint about unsanitary conditions at the distribution center in West Memphis. The agency concluded its investigation last February 11. They reported finding live rodents and dead ones in various states of decay, as well as urine and feces. The agency also found evidence of gnawing, nesting, rodent odors throughout the facility. 

In addition, the FDA also said they found dead birds and droppings. In fact, the team counted more than 1,100 dead rodents in the center after fumigation. Internal records showed that the Arkansas facility showed a history of rodent infestation. In less than six months in 2021, the center collected more than 2,300 rodents. 

Family Dollar to Temporarily Close 404 Affected Stores

As a result, the company will temporarily close 404 stores serviced by the West Memphis warehouse. Dollar Tree spokeswoman Kayleigh Campbell said that these will remain close as they complete the product recall. Campbell said that they are taking the situation seriously as the company remains committed to providing safe and quality products. She added that the company is fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies in resolving the matter. 

Meanwhile, Judith McMeekin, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, called out Family Dollar for the issue. She said that consumers who depend on Family Dollar stores “deserve products that are safe”.  She added that the conditions in the distribution facility were unacceptable. These conditions appear to be violations of federal law that could put families’ health at risk,” she added. 

Voluntary Recall 

In its announcement, the company said that the voluntary recall only applies to products shipped by the West Memphis warehouse. Other products shipped directly to stores by the distributor or manufacturer remain safe. It asked affected stores to immediately quarantine products and discontinue sales of items that came from West Memphis.

Watch the ABC News video reporting that more than 1,000 rodents found at Family Dollar distribution center

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