The discount store chain Family Dollar has temporarily closed more than 400 stores due to a rodent infestation at an Arkansas warehouse, multiple outlets reported.
In a statement on Friday, Family Dollar said it was initiating a voluntary recall of several categories of products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 404 stores due to the presence of rodents at an Arkansas distribution facility.
The statement said inspectors found live and dead rodents “in various states of decay;” rodent feces and urine; evidence of gnawing, nesting and rodent odors and dead birds and bird droppings; and products stored in conditions that did not protect against unsanitary conditions.
The health agency also said it has recovered 1,110 dead rodents from the facility following fumigation in January. A review of records also shows a collection of more than 2,300 rodents from late March to September.
“Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for products such as food and medicine. They deserve products that are safe,” FDA’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin 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.”
A spokesperson for Family Dollar told The New York Times the company had “temporarily closed the affected stores in order to proficiently conduct the voluntary recall.”
The FDA-regulated products affected include dietary supplements, skincare products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos, baby wipes, medical devices and over-the-counter (OTC) medications that were sold in stores beginning in January 2021.
Family Dollar said it is working to address the issue. The company said it’s not aware of any complaints or reports of illness from the products.
“Family Dollar is notifying its affected stores by letter asking them to check their stock immediately and to quarantine and discontinue the sale of any affected product,” the company said in its statement. “Customers that may have bought affected product may return such product to the Family Dollar store where they were purchased without receipt.”