Family Dollar Recalls Products in 404 Stores Due to Rodent Infestation

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
February 19, 2022 Updated: February 20, 2022

Family Dollar is recalling a range of products shipped to 404 stores across six states due to the presence of rodents and rodent activity at one the company’s distribution centers, after federal health inspectors found unsanitary conditions at the facility, including decomposing carcasses of dead rodents.

In a Feb. 18 notice, Family Dollar said the voluntary recall includes all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and human and pet food products, citing “numerous hazards associated with rodents including the potential presence of Salmonella,” a bacteria that can be fatal in some people.

The recall applies to products at 404 stores listed in the recall notice, with the items shipped from Family Dollar Distribution Center 202 in West Memphis, Arkansas, from Jan. 1, 2021, through the present.

No consumer complaints or reports of illnesses related to the recall have been noted, Family Dollar said.

“We take situations like this very seriously and are committed to providing safe and quality products to our customers,” a company spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an emailed 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.”

The spokesperson added that the affected stores have been temporarily closed to carry out the recall and that “our teams are working hard to reopen these stores as soon as possible.”

A customer complaint prompted health officials to investigate the Arkansas facility last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a notice.

“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.

Following a fumigation at the facility in January, over 1,100 dead rodents were recovered, the FDA said, adding that inspectors found records of a prior rodent infestation at the facility.

“A review of the company’s internal records also indicated the collection of more than 2,300 rodents between Mar. 29 and Sep. 17, 2021, demonstrating a history of infestation,” the FDA said.

The agency advised consumers not to use the products covered by the recall, which include lipsticks, feminine hygiene products, contact lens solutions, baby wipes, and baby oils.

“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,” the FDA’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin said in a statement.

Rodent contamination may cause Salmonella and other infectious diseases, with the biggest risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

*This article has been updated to include comments received from Family Dollar.