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What Family Dollar stores are affected by FDA warning.

Family Dollar Stores issues recall of certain products in six states after a rodent infestation was found at a Family Dollar distribution center.

ALABAMA, USA — Certain items sold at Family Dollar stores across six states could be contaminated by unsanitary conditions found at an Arkansas Family Dollar distribution center. FDA officials warned after an inspection found a rodent infestation and other issues that could have affected the products. 

Among the products recalled are:

  • Human food
  • Pet food
  • Dietary supplements 
  • Cosmetics
  • Medical devices
  • Over-the-counter medications

if they were purchased in January or February from certain Family Dollar stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri or Tennessee.

RELATED: FDA warns not to use certain Family Dollar products in 6 states after rodent infestation found

The FDA told customers not to use any potentially impacted products and to discard any unused items, regardless of packaging. 

Food in non-permeable packaging such as undamaged glass bottles or metal cans may be suitable for consumption as long as they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Customers are also advised to wash their hands immediately after handling any merchandise purchased from Family Dollar in the six affected states. 

Rodent contamination can cause salmonella and infectious diseases. The risk of disease is greater among infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and anybody who is immunocompromised.

What stores are affected?

The affected stores are:

Credit: FDA
Alabama Family Dollar Stores affected by recall after rodent infestation discovered at West Memphis distribution center

A consumer complaint prompted officials to inspect the West Memphis, Arkansas, facility in January, the FDA said in a news release. Inside the building, inspectors said they found live rodents, dead rodents in “various states of decay,” rodent feces, dead birds and bird droppings.

After fumigating the facility, more than 1,100 dead rodents were recovered, officials said.

RELATED: FDA: Do not use recalled infant formulas tied to infections

What's the risk?

There are numerous hazards associated with rodents including the potential presence of Salmonella. Use or consumption of affected products may present risk of illness due to the potential presence of Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in infants, young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant persons, persons with pre-existent pathology (e.g., patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy treatments, organ transplant recipient, etc.) and others with weakened immune systems. 

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

To date, Family Dollar is not aware of any consumer complaints or reports of illness related to this recall.

According to the FDA, the facility ceased distribution within days of the inspection team's arrival, and the inspection continued through Feb. 11. 

In a news release, Family Dollar listed the 404 stores that may have sold products from the contaminated facility.

How long has the rodent infestation been going in?

Records reviewed by the FDA team showed that more than 2,300 more rodents had been found in the facility between March and September of 2021, indicating that the infestation was a known issue for over a year. 

“Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for products such as food and medicine. They deserve products that are safe,” Judith McMeekin, a senior FDA official, said in a statement. “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 told customers not to use any potentially impacted products and to discard any unused items, regardless of packaging. 

Food in non-permeable packaging such as undamaged glass bottles or metal cans may be suitable for consumption as long as they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Customers are also advised to wash their hands immediately after handling any merchandise purchased from Family Dollar in the six affected states. 

Rodent contamination can cause salmonella and infectious diseases. The risk of disease is greater among infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and anybody who is immunocompromised.

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