Family Dollar Admits Storing Products In Unsanitary Conditions

( – Family Dollar Stores LLC has thousands of locations around the country. The value retail chain has become very popular in rural areas. The company recently pleaded guilty to storing its goods in unsanitary conditions.

On February 26, the Department of Justice announced the retail chain admitted that it was holding medical devices, drugs, food, and cosmetics in unsanitary conditions. The information was unsealed in a federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Family Dollar was charged with a misdemeanor for causing products regulated by the FDA to become adulterated while being stored in unsanitary conditions.

The company’s Arkansas distribution center shipped products regulated by the FDA to more than 400 stores in Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana. It began receiving complaints that there were pest issues with its deliveries in August 2020. Multiple stores reported receiving products damaged by rodent activity and even receiving rodents in their shipments.

Family Dollar admitted that some of its employees knew the products were being held in unsanitary conditions, in violation of the law. The company continued to ship the products from the facility despite the complaints. Then, in January 2022, an FDA inspection of the Arkansas facility uncovered decaying rodents, live rodents, urine, feces, and odors from the animals. There was also evidence that the rodents were nesting in and gnawing products throughout the distribution center.

The facility was eventually fumigated, and officials found 1,270 dead rodents. The company then recalled all of the FDA-regulated products that were sent out to the 400+ stores from the warehouse. The judgment against Family Dollar totals $41.675 million and is the largest-ever monetary penalty handed down in a food safety case. The agreement also requires the company to meet strict reporting and compliance requirements for the next three years.

US Attorney Jonathan D. Ross called the company’s behavior “incomprehensible” and accused it of putting public health at risk.

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