RODENTS: Family Dollar items possibly contaminated

A Family Dollar storefront in Ridgeland, Mississippi

FILE – This Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 photo shows the Family Dollar store in Ridgeland, Miss. Dollar General is boosting its bid for rival Family Dollar to approximately $9.1 billion and says it’s now willing to more than double the number of stores it would shed to avoid trouble with regulators. Dollar General Corp. said Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, it will now divest 1,500 stores to steer clear of antitrust issues.(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(NEXSTAR) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers in six states that several products found in Family Dollar stores between Jan. 1, 2021 and now may be potentially unsafe. The alert comes after FDA inspectors say they found insanitary conditions – including live and dead rodents – in Family Dollar’s West Memphis, Arkansas, distribution facility.

Consumers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are advised not to use a variety of Family Dollar products, including foods, cosmetics, animal foods, medical devices and over-the-counter medications.

Over 1,100 dead rodents were found at the facility where these items may have come from.

If you believe you’ve purchased these items, you’re asked to contact Family Dollar, discard the items and wash your hands immediately after handling them. The FDA says some food products in non-permeable packaging (such as undamaged glass or all-metal cans) may be suitable for use if properly cleaned/sanitized.

Contact a doctor or medical professional if you have health concerns after handling these products, the FDA urges.

The administration says a consumer complaint sparked the investigation of the West Memphis facility in January. Inspectors say they found “live rodents, dead rodents in various states of decay, rodent feces and urine, evidence of gnawing, nesting and rodent odors throughout the facility.”

Inspectors also say they found dead birds and bird droppings.

“Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for products such as food and medicine. They deserve products that are safe,” said Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin. “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.”

The FDA says it’s working with Family Dollar to initiate a voluntary recall of the products.

The administration also says a review of the company’s internal records showed a collection of over 2,300 rodents between March 29 and Sept. 17, 2021 – “demonstrating a history of infestation.”

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