The Food and Drug Administration and Family Dollar are warning customers in six states – including those who’ve shopped at stores in Covington and Munford – not to use certain products purchased since Jan. 1, 2021.
The warning was prompted by the discovery of more than 1,100 dead rodents after fumigating the West Memphis, Ark. distribution facility. The FDA said an investigation, prompted by a customer complaint last month, revealed live and dead rodents in several stages of decomposition, “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.”
Recalled products include, but are not limited to:
- food and FDA-approved dietary supplements (vitamin, herbal and mineral supplements) for human consumption
- Cosmetics, including skincare products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos and baby wipes
- Animal foods, including kibble, pet treats and wild bird seed
- Medical devices, including feminine hygiene products, surgical masks, contact lens cleaning solutions, bandages and nasal care products
- Over-the-counter medications, including pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids and other medications for both adults and children
“Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for products such as food and medicine. They deserve products that are safe,” said FDA 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 Family Dollar ceased distribution of products within days of its inspection team’s arrival on-site and the inspection concluded on Feb. 11. 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.
Consumers are advised not to use and to contact the company regarding impacted products. The agency is also advising that all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and dietary supplements, regardless of packaging, be discarded. Food in non-permeable packaging (such as undamaged glass or all-metal cans) may be suitable for use if thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Consumers should wash their hands immediately after handling any products from the affected Family Dollar stores.
Consumers who recently purchased affected products should contact a health care professional immediately if they have health concerns after using or handling impacted products. Rodent contamination may cause Salmonella and infectious diseases, which may pose the greatest risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people.
Other states where potentially-contaminated products were sold include Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi. A full list of stores affected can be found here.