Rat infestation potentially contaminated Family Dollar products in Louisiana

Staff Report
The Family Dollar chain issued a voluntary recall affecting items purchased from hundreds of stores in the South.

More than 1,000 rodents were found in a Family Dollar facility that serves hundreds of stores through the South, including Louisiana, potentially contaminating products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted consumers that several categories of FDA-regulated products purchased since Jan. 1 could be unsafe for use.

The Family Dollar stores are located in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. The products originated from a distribution facility in West Memphis, Ark., according to the FDA.

Family Dollar store locations in the Baton Rouge area listed on the company's news release included: 8027 Scenic Hwy.; 6910 Mickens Rd.; 12902 Hwy. 190 W., Port Allen; and 4950 Hwy. 19, Zachary.

Following a consumer complaint, the FDA began an investigation in January. Family Dollar ceased distribution of products within days of the FDA inspection team’s arrival on-site and the inspection concluded on Feb. 11.

Conditions observed during the inspection included live rodents, dead rodents in various states of decay, 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.

More than 1,100 dead rodents were recovered from the facility following a fumigation at the facility in January 2022.

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.

In a company news release, Family Dollar reported it is not aware of any consumer complaints or reports of illness related to this recall involving 404 stores.

Have you purchased items from Family Dollar in 2022?

Some examples of these products include human foods (including dietary supplements (vitamin, herbal and mineral supplements), cosmetics (skincare products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos, baby wipes), animal foods (kibble, pet treats, wild bird seed), medical devices (feminine hygiene products, surgical masks, contact lens cleaning solutions, bandages, nasal care products) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications (pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids, other medications for both adults and children). 

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.