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404 Family Dollar stores closed after rodent infestation uncovered at West Memphis distribution center

Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 9:43 PM CST
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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - If you’re a frequent shopper at Family Dollar, you may have noticed your local store was closed Saturday.

Widespread closure across the Mid-South come after an alert from the FDA came out Friday night, reporting a contaminate of products.

At the company’s distribution center in West Memphis, products are delivered to stores in 11 states, including Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Because of the FDA report, the products that were stored in that facility from January 1, 2021 to present have been voluntarily recalled by the Family Dollar, with 404 stores temporarily closed.

In Memphis, shoppers might see a white piece of paper taped to the front door with a broad message saying “Temporarily closed. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

What the note doesn’t say is why the stores are closed.

Internal records from Family Dollar show around 2,300 rodents were collected between late March and mid-September of last year.

A former Family Dollar employee sent video of rats throughout the West Memphis distribution center, dated January of 2021.

Now the FDA is asking customers who have shopped at Family Dollar recently to contact a health care professional.

We spoke to Family Dollar shoppers who were outside stores in Memphis but unaware why the stores were closed.

“Were you expecting the reason to be what we just told you,” we asked.

“No! But I knew it was something,” said Memphis resident Anita Donelson. “I passed by four or five of them, and they weren’t open. It was peculiar.”

“I normally would just come to this store, so knowing that that happened I’m like... I’m sad,” said Lashella Campbell, another Memphis resident and frequent Family Dollar shopper.

Among the products the FDA lists as potentially being contaminated with Salmonella include food (both human and animal), cosmetics and over the counter medicine.

Family Dollar said in a statement “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.”

Regardless of how long it will take to get past this situation, shoppers we spoke with said this doesn’t impact how they feel about Family Dollar.

“I go to all of them,” Campbell said. “You know, it’s convenient when you can’t get to certain stores, and it’s right there.”

“I like Family Dollar,” Donelson said. “They’ve got reasonable prices, and it’s the reason why I come here. You know, I hope they get it resolved.”

Family Dollar says they are reaching out to the affected stores to check stock and inventory for affected products and to quarantine and discontinue the sale of them.

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