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‘Stop Shopping at Family Dollar’: Mid-South leaders issue warning after rat infestation discovered at distribution center

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 11:02 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2022 at 11:24 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The discovery of a rat infestation at a Family Dollar Distribution Center in West Memphis caused 404 stores to temporarily close and now Mid-South leaders are issuing a warning to consumers: “STOP SHOPPING AT FAMILY DOLLAR.”

State Representative G. A. Hardaway along with leaders from Orange Mound Collaborative, Shelby County Commissioner, Memphis-Shelby County Schools, NAACP and State Representative Dwayne Thompson all gathered for a news conference regarding the issue.

They warned to the community about the potential health hazard of shopping at Family Dollar.

Rep. Hardaway said in part:

“I’m requesting the State of Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH), the TN Division of Consumer Affairs, the TN Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA), the TN Department of Human Services (TDHS) and the Shelby County Department of Health to immediately launch full, thorough and independent investigations of Family Dollar’s business and operational practices, including, but not limited to, the FDA findings of unsafe and unsanitary conditions. In addition, I am contacting the Department of Human Services (DHS) for potential emergency food replacement and the Tennessee Department of Labor for possible emergency unemployment benefits.”

Last week, the U.S. Food Drug Administration alerted the public of a federal investigation that found several categories of FDA-regulated products purchased from Jan. 1 through the present from Family Dollar stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee may be unsafe to use.

At least 61 stores in Memphis alone are closed due to the investigation.

Some of the contaminated products include:

  • Human foods
  • Cosmetics
  • Animal foods
  • OTC medications
  • Medical devices

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.

RELATED | How to Handle Food Products that Have Been Exposed to Filth

Food packaged in undamaged glass or all-metal cans may be suitable for use if thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Also, do not give away or donate these items.

Consumers should wash their hands immediately after handling any products from the affected Family Dollar stores.

If you are experiencing adverse effects from any of these products recently purchased from Family Dollar, visit fda.gov/medwatch/report.

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