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Thousands of Dead Rats Were Found At This Discount Chain's Distribution Plant

The affected products were shipped to 404 stores across the country.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a warning against products sold at a popular discount chain after thousands of dead rats were found in one of its distribution centers.

The FDA's warning includes several food products as well as dietary supplements, vitamins, cosmetics, shampoos, baby wipes, and several other healthcare items—including medications intended for adults and children. 

Family Dollar's distribution plant in West Memphis, Arkansas is the affected center and the warning extends to products sold in 404 stores across six states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Related: 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year

Conditions observed during an FDA inspection of the plant included live and dead rodents in various states of decay, rodent feces and urine, evidence of gnawing, nesting, and products stored in conditions that did not protect against contamination.



"More than 1,100 dead rodents were recovered from the facility following a fumigation at the facility in January 2022," the FDA said in a press release. "Additionally, a review of the company's internal records also indicated the collection of more than 2,300 rodents between March 29 and Sept. 17, 2021, demonstrating a history of infestation."

The dangers of a rat infestation include risks of Salmonella exposure, a bacteria that can cause severe illness especially in infants, children, the elderly, and those with immune system deficiencies. 

Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Some Salmonella strains can cause infection in urine, blood, bones, joints, or the nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Family Dollar is notifying its affected stores by letter asking them to check their stock immediately and to discontinue the sale of any affected products. Customers who may have purchased affected products may return them to the Family Dollar store where they purchased it with or without a receipt. 

"Families rely on stores like Family Dollar for products such as food and medicine," FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin said in a statement. "They deserve products that are safe.  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."

For more recall news, check out These Infant Formulas Are Being Recalled After Four Babies Have Fallen Ill.

Kristen Warfield
Kristen Warfield is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz’s journalism program in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Read more about Kristen
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