UPDATED 2/21, 10:30 a.m. ET: More than 400 Family Dollar stores have closed following a rodent infestation at one of the company’s major distribution centers, WGN-TV reports.
The dollar store chain has shuttered 404 stores located in six states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.
“Our teams are working hard to reopen these stores as soon as possible,” Kayleigh Campbell, a spokesperson for Family Dollar’s parent company, Dollar Tree, said in a statement.
Dollar Tree has not confirmed a potential reopening date.
“We take situations like this very seriously and are committed to providing safe and quality products to our customers,” Campbell added. “We have been fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies in the resolution of this matter and are in the process of remediating the issue.”
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement this week alerting the public about potentially contaminated products from Family Dollar stores after inspectors discovered more than 1,100 dead rodents at a Family Dollar distribution center in West Memphis, Arkansas., The Guardian reports.
Consumers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, are advised not to use products purchased from the chain since Jan. 1, 2021.
“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.
Among the products that may have been contaminated were drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and food products for both humans and animals, the FDA said.
“No one should be subjected to products stored in the kind of unacceptable conditions that we found in this Family Dollar distribution facility,” McMeekin added. “These conditions appear to be violations of federal law that could put families’ health at risk. We will continue to work to protect consumers.”
According to the FDA, officials came across live rodents, dead rodents in “various stages of decay,” rodent feces. and urine, as well as “evidence of gnawing, nesting and rodent odors,” among other discoveries.
“Additionally, 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 added in its news release.