As the company recovered from a mouse infestation found at one of its distribution sites, more than 400 Family Dollar stores remained shuttered on Sunday morning.
The Food and Drug Administration said it first dispatched an inspection to the West Memphis, Arkansas, facility in January after receiving a customer complaint.
In the course of the inspection, “live rats, dead rodents in different states of decay, rodent feces and urine, proof of gnawing, laying eggs, and rodent odors throughout the facility, dead birds and bird droppings, and products stored in circumstances that did not secure against contamination,” according to the agency.
Approximately 1,100 dead rats were discovered at the site after it was fumigated.
Furthermore, a check of the firm’s internal records revealed that more than 2,300 rodents were collected between March 29 and September 17, 2021, indicating that the company had a history of infestation, according to the FDA.
Concerns that food, cosmetics, medical items, pet food, and other products sold at Family Dollar may have been contaminated due to unsanitary circumstances have caused a huge recall of the products.
Additionally, 404 shops have been forced to close while the contaminated items are removed off the shelves. The closed shops are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
“Our employees are working tirelessly to get these locations back up and running as quickly as possible,” said Kayleigh Campbell, a spokesman for Dollar Tree, the parent company of Family Dollar. Campbell did not specify an approximate timeline for the reopening of the facility.
Customers who bought the impacted goods will be allowed to return them for a refund once the shops reopen. A receipt will not be required in this case.
“We take incidents like these very seriously and are dedicated to providing our consumers with safe goods and of high quality. In the course of resolving this incident, we have been completely cooperative with all regulatory bodies, and we are in the process of rectifying the situation,” Campbell said.
According to the company, customers concerned about the recall and possibly tainted items should contact the company.
For those of you who shop at Family Dollar regularly, you may have noticed that your local store was closed on Saturday morning.
Following an FDA notice sent late Friday night, which reported product contamination, a widespread shutdown was implemented throughout the Mid-South.
Products are distributed to retailers in 11 states, including Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee, from the company’s distribution hub in West Memphis.
Family Dollar has voluntarily recalled the items held at that facility from January 1, 2021, until the present due to the FDA findings. As a result of this voluntary recall, 404 stores have been temporarily shuttered.
404 Family Dollar stores across the Mid-South are closed after a massive rat infestation was discovered at the company’s West Memphis distribution center. We’re live at 10 with the details on @WMCActionNews5. #FamilyDollar #recall pic.twitter.com/sICg7kqNWs
— Parker King (@King_Reports) February 20, 2022
“Temporarily closed,” says a white sheet of paper attached to the front door of a business in Memphis, with a wide sign reading, “Currently closed.” “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”
The notice does not specify the reason for the closure of the shops. According to Family Dollar’s internal data, around 2,300 rats were gathered between late March and the middle of September last year.
A former Family Dollar employee shared recordings showing rats running throughout the West Memphis distribution site in January 2021, which the company received.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, customers who have recently bought at Family Dollar are urged to seek medical attention.
Customers at Family Dollar shops in Memphis were uninformed of the reason for the businesses’ closure when we chatted with them on the street.
“Did you anticipate the reason to be what we just told you?” we inquired. “Were you anticipating the reason to be what we just told you?”
“No! “But I knew it was significant,” Anita Donelson, a resident of Memphis, told the Associated Press. The doors to four or five of them were locked as I went by them.
“It was a strange experience.” “Normally, I’d come to this place, so knowing that anything like that occurred makes me feel a little uncomfortable. It makes me sad,” Lashella Campbell, a Memphis resident and regular Family Dollar customer expressed her disappointment.
According to the FDA, foods (both human and animal), cosmetics, and over-the-counter medications are all examples of things that might be contaminated with Salmonella if handled improperly.
A statement from Family Dollar said, “We take instances like this very seriously and are dedicated to providing our consumers with safe and high-quality items.” This situation is being resolved in full cooperation with all regulatory bodies, and we are now in the process of correcting the problem.”
Regardless of how long it will take to get beyond this dilemma, the consumers said that it did not affect their feelings about Family Dollar as a company.
“I go to everyone,” Campbell stated. You know, it’s nice when you cannot access certain shops, and the store is just next door.
“I like shopping at Family Dollar,” Donelson stated. I come here because they have low pricing, which is one of the reasons I come here. “You know, I’m hoping they can come to a resolution.”
In response, the company claims that Family Dollar has reached out to all impacted locations to verify stock and inventory for affected goods, quarantine them, and halt their sale.