Dollar Tree Gets Grand Jury Subpoena Over Rodent Infestation

By Jordyn Holman | March 15, 2022

Dollar Tree Inc. was issued a federal grand jury subpoena related to a pest and sanitation issue, according to a filing from the discount retailer on Tuesday.

The company said that the Eastern District of Arkansas requested information, documents and records about pests, sanitation and the company’s compliance with the law. The announcement follows a Food and Drug Administration warning earlier this year about potential contamination of products sold at the company’s Family Dollar chain following a rodent infestation at a distribution facility.

“We intend to cooperate fully with the subpoena and any related investigation, however, no assurance can be given as to the timing or outcome of this matter,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

Products sold at Family Dollar in six states starting Jan. 1, 2021, could have been contaminated after an FDA inspection uncovered unsanitary conditions such as dead rodents and birds at a West Memphis, Arkansas, distribution facility. The FDA at the time said it was working with the company to initiate a voluntary recall of affected products that range from food items to cosmetics and over-the-counter medication.

More than 1,100 dead rodents were recovered after the facility was fumigated in January 2022, while internal records indicated a further 2,300 were collected between end-March and mid-September, the FDA said. Rodent contamination may cause salmonella and infectious diseases, they added. The affected stores are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Dollar Tree operated 16,077 discount stores in the U.S. as of Jan. 29, according to the filing. A company representative did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Dollar Tree shares rose less than 0.3% to $151.55 at 9:43 a.m. in New York trading. The stock has gained about 7.7% in 2022.

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