WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — More than 1,000 dead rodents and birds were discovered at a Family Dollar Distribution center.
FDA inspectors said they made that discovery at the store’s West Memphis distribution center, and because of that, more than 400 Family Dollar stores are temporarily closed.
WREG was first made aware of the rodent problems at the same warehouse in January by former employees. One former employee shared a video with WREG of someone offering food to a rat. Weeks later, regulators have stepped in to address the issue.
“It’s 61 aisles in the warehouse, you’re going to see them from aisles one to 61,” former employee Robert Bradford said. “They be running around, they be on the floor inside the boxes.”
After conducting an inspection, the FDA says it found live and dead rodents in various states of decay along with dead birds, which inspectors believe contaminated products kept at the facility. As a result, the agency advises consumers to not use certain products shipped from the warehouse.
A 2019 health inspection detailed rodent droppings on store shelves at a Hickory Hill Family Dollar store, causing the store to close. See the story below.
Inspection report reveals disturbing details about rat infestation at Family Dollar store
Some of these products include:
- Food items (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)
- Over-the-counter medications (pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids, other medications for both adults and children)
Family Dollar is initiating a voluntary recall on certain products from the distribution facility. They claim all affected stores have been notified and are asking employees to quarantine. For now, customers will be greeted by temporary closure signs, leading to mixed feelings.
“I’m a cowgirl,” customer Lori Fory said. “Let me come in on my horse and wrangle them all up because a rat ain’t gone hurt nobody. We got to do something about it.”
In 2014, a downtown Memphis Family Dollar store was also closed for a deep cleaning after nearby businesses said the store “smelled like dead rats.”
As of Friday, Family Dollar says they are not aware of any customer complaints or reported illness related to the recall.
A spokesperson with Family Dollar told us:
We take situations like this very seriously and are committed to providing safe and quality products to our customers. We have been fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies in the resolution of this matter and are in the process of remediating the issue.
A date for the stores to reopen have not yet been released.
If you have any questions about the recall, you can contact Family Dollar customer service at (844)-636-7687.