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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Family Dollar stores impacted by rodents at distribution center

Family Dollar stores in 6 states impacted by rodent infestation at distribution center, FDA alert says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert Friday in relation to the contamination of several categories of FDA-regulated products purchased at Family Dollar stores in six states since Jan. 1, 2021.Customers who purchased items from stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee may have contaminated items after an inspection found insanitary conditions, including a rodent infestation, in the company’s distribution facility in West Memphis, Arkansas. The FDA alert includes the following:Human foods; including dietary supplements and vitamin, herbal and mineral supplementsCosmetics; skin care products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos, baby wipesAnimal foods; kibble, pet treats, wild bird seedMedical devices; feminine hygiene products, surgical masks, contact lens cleaning solutions, bandages, nasal care productsOver-the-counter (OTC) medications; pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids, other medications for both adults and children.The FDA is advising that all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and dietary supplements, regardless of packaging, be discarded. Customers are also advised to not use the impacted products and to contact the respective companies. Food in non-permeable packaging, like undamaged glass or all-metal cans, may be suitable for use if thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.Consumers are also strongly advised to wash their hands immediately after handling any products from the affected stores.The FDA said it is working with the company to initiate a voluntary recall of the affected products.“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, Pharm.D. “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 said consumers who recently purchased, or handled, affected products should contact a health care professional immediately with any health concerns. Rodent contamination may cause Salmonella and infectious diseases, which may pose the greatest risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people.The investigation began following a consumer complaint in January 2022. The FDA said Family Dollar ceased distribution of products within days of the FDA inspection team’s arrival on-site and the inspection concluded on Feb. 11, 2022.During the inspection, the FDA observed 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.Additionally, more than 1,100 dead rodents were recovered from the facility following a fumigation in January 2022. 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert Friday in relation to the contamination of several categories of FDA-regulated products purchased at Family Dollar stores in six states since Jan. 1, 2021.

Customers who purchased items from stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee may have contaminated items after an inspection found insanitary conditions, including a rodent infestation, in the company’s distribution facility in West Memphis, Arkansas.

The FDA alert includes the following:

  • Human foods; including dietary supplements and vitamin, herbal and mineral supplements
  • Cosmetics; skin care 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
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications; pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids, other medications for both adults and children.

The FDA is advising that all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and dietary supplements, regardless of packaging, be discarded. Customers are also advised to not use the impacted products and to contact the respective companies. Food in non-permeable packaging, like undamaged glass or all-metal cans, may be suitable for use if thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Consumers are also strongly advised to wash their hands immediately after handling any products from the affected stores.

The FDA said it is working with the company to initiate a voluntary recall of the affected products.

“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, Pharm.D. “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 said consumers who recently purchased, or handled, affected products should contact a health care professional immediately with any health concerns. Rodent contamination may cause Salmonella and infectious diseases, which may pose the greatest risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people.

The investigation began following a consumer complaint in January 2022. The FDA said Family Dollar ceased distribution of products within days of the FDA inspection team’s arrival on-site and the inspection concluded on Feb. 11, 2022.

During the inspection, the FDA observed 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.

Additionally, more than 1,100 dead rodents were recovered from the facility following a fumigation in January 2022. 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.

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