(NEXSTAR) – More than 400 Family Dollar outlets remained closed on Sunday as a retailer worked to recover from a rodent infestation found at one of its distribution centers.
The Food and Drug Administration said it sent an inspector to West Memphis, Arkansas, for the first time in January after a consumer complaint. The inspection found “live rodents, dead rodents in various decaying conditions, feces and urine of rodents, signs of rodents, nesting and odors of rodents throughout the facility, dead birds and bird droppings, and products stored in conditions that did not protect from infection, ”the agency said.
After the fumigation, about 1,100 dead rodents were found at the site.
“In addition, a review of the company’s internal records also revealed the collection of more than 2,300 rodents between March 29 and September 17, 2021, which demonstrates a history of infection,” the FDA said.
Concerns that unsanitary conditions could contaminate food, cosmetics, medical supplies, pet food and other products sold at Family Dollar have sparked a massive response.
It has also led to the network temporarily closing 404 stores as affected products are removed from shelves. All of the closed stores are in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. (See exact list of locations here.)
“Our teams are working hard to open these stores as soon as possible,” said Kaylee Campbell, a spokeswoman for the parent company Family Dollar, Dollar Tree. Campbell did not name an estimated opening date.
Once the stores reopen, customers who have purchased the affected products will be able to return them for a refund without a check.
“We take such situations very seriously and strive to provide our customers with safe and quality products. We are fully cooperating with all regulatory authorities in addressing this issue and are in the process of correcting this issue, ”Campbell said.
Customers with questions about recalls and potentially contaminated products can call 844-636-7687, the company said.