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ADH did not turn back on Family Dollar rodent issue

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Little Rock, Arkansas – Arkansas health officials did not turn their back on a rodent problem at a Family Dollar distribution center, the state’s top doctor said.

According to Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero, his agency had been monitoring the problems at the facility for a year.

“We work, not as a punitive system but as we see improvement, we come back and continue to go forward with it,” Romero said. “We had several complaints after that, each time they addressed the issues that we had.”

Records reveal the state has inspected the West Memphis distribution facility four times, seeing live and dead rodents during each visit, before notifying federal authorities.

According to health officials, the state notified the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October about the rodents.

Health officials ranked the inspection as a low priority on Thursday. According to the state, it ranked a low risk because the facility was cooperative when asked to destroy the contaminated product and address the rodent issue.

Health officials clarified on Friday that low priority did not refer to the rodent issue but instead refers to the type of facility.

“In general, facilities that have prepackaged foods like this one are low. Facilities that prepare foods, like most restaurants, are medium. Facilities that prepare sushi or things like that are high,” said a health department spokesperson.

The state confirms the distribution center has been elevated a high-risk category.

According to Family Dollar, last week that it is not aware of any consumer complaints or reports of illness related to this recall.

“We take situations like this very seriously and are committed to providing safe and quality products to our customers,” Kayleigh Campbell, a spokesperson for Family Dollar’s parent company Dollar Tree, said at the time. “We have been fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies in the resolution of this matter and are in the process of remediating the issue.”

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