The recall includes food, beverages, cosmetics, dietary supplements, drugs and animal or veterinary products
A recall alert button in front of a family dollar store
Credit: Adobe Stock / Tupungato

If you bought food, cosmetics, drugs, drinks or dietary supplements at a Family Dollar in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi or Tennessee sometime between January 1 and February 18, you may need to return or dispose of those products. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that products distributed from West Memphis, Arkansas, have a possible risk of salmonella contamination. The FDA came to that conclusion after finding "insanitary conditions, including a rodent infestation," at the center, according to a media release. Family Dollar and the FDA have released a full list of affected stores.

The recall does not include frozen or refrigerated products, as those are shipped directly from the manufacturer to individual stores. There are no specific products or brands mentioned in the media release, but FDA clarifies that the recall does cover the following:

  • human foods, including vitamin, herbal and mineral supplements
  • cosmetics, including skincare products, baby oils, lipsticks, shampoos and baby wipes
  • animal foods, including kibble, pet treats and wild bird seed
  • medical devices, including feminine hygiene products, surgical masks, contact lens cleaning solutions, bandages and nasal care products
  • over-the-counter medications, including pain medications, eye drops, dental products, antacids and other medications for both adults and children

This would include not just Family Dollar-branded items, but items from brands sold at Family Dollar, such as Covergirl, Blistex, Campbell's, Kraft and Pedigree. If your item falls into one of the five categories listed above, it could be affected by the rodent infestation, no matter what brand it is.

If you have any of these products on hand, you can return it to the Family Dollar store where it was purchased with or without a receipt, according to a separate release. Whether you return the product or simply throw it away, the FDA recommends carefully washing your hands after touching the products. Salmonella can cause fever, nausea, vomiting and, in cases where the organism gets into the bloodstream, illnesses like arterial infection and endocarditis. There are not yet any reported illnesses related to the recall.

According to the FDA release, the administration's investigation into the distribution facility began after a consumer filed a complaint. During that inspection, the FDA reportedly found  "live rodents, dead rodents in various states of decay, rodent feces and urine, evidence of gnawing, nesting and rodent odors throughout the facility, dead birds and bird droppings, and products stored in conditions that did not protect against contamination." Since March 2021, 3,400 rodents have been removed from the facility.