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Condoms and Pregnancy Tests Face Recall by Major Discount Chain

The FDA reported recalls affecting over 40 health and hygiene products.

There are certain things that one decidedly does not want to learn have been subject to a recall — food one just ate, medicine one takes regularly and certain items related to preventing or testing for pregnancy.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Family Dollar was issuing a voluntary recall for a variety of products that had been stored outside of labeled temperature requirements. 

The products included contact lens solution, denture adhesives and even at-home marijuana test strips. 

But the items of greatest potential consequence were Clearblue pregnancy tests and Trojan and Skyn condoms. 

Snarky jokes aside, faulty condoms and pregnancy tests are potentially devastating in states that have severely limited access to reproductive health services since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

On the way to the store shelves, the products were reportedly stored at improper temperatures. While no customer injuries or other problems were reported, the risk of having some of these items not function properly has prompted the recalls.

In total, over 40 items sold over-the-counter at the stores were part of these recalls. 

Family Dollar is owned by the larger Dollar Tree  (DLTR)  discount franchise and sells discount versions of everything from Heinz  (KHC)  ketchup to toys and personal hygiene products.

'Check Your Stock'

"Family Dollar has notified its affected stores asking them to check their stock immediately and to quarantine and discontinue the sale of any affected product," the FDA says in its recall announcement. "Customers that may have bought affected product may return such product to the Family Dollar store where they were purchased without receipt."

Drug stores and other places selling the items have also been told to check their stock and get rid of any products delivered between certain dates in May and June of this year.

The products have reached stores in all states except Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii (the latter two do not have Family Dollar.)

By the time the FDA made the announcement, terms like "FDA recall" and "condom recall" started spiking on Google Trends  (GOOGL)  as people started searching to see whether something they had bought or used was subject to a recall.

"What disasters might follow? What comedy routines might be born from this list?" Twitter  (TWTR)  user Cheryl Gaudreault wrote of the announcement.

A History Of Recalls

While the condom recall got a lot of attention online, this isn't the first time Family Dollar had to make a major recall. 

Back in June, Family Dollar had to shut down over 400 stores and a distribution center in Arkansas due to a "rodent problem" that the chain had at first tried to get under control. When that plan failed, the entire 850,000-square-foot distribution center in West Memphis, Arkansas had to be shut down.

Even though the recall prompted many an internet joke about why anyone would "buy condoms in a place whose name has the word dollar," the reality is that such discounts are a benefit for many low-income families.

In 2021, 45% of the American population earned below $50,000 a year. According to numbers broken down by data research firm Numerator, that number is at 59% for Family Dollar shoppers.

Amid widespread inflation, traffic at dollar stores and discount chains has been through the roof this spring  and summer. Compared to 2019, foot traffic rose by 20.4% at Family Dollar, 28.2% at Dollar General, 34.1% at Five Below  (FIVE) , 3% at Big Lots  (BIG) and 13.7% at Dollar Tree.

Meanwhile, food prices at dollar and discount stores rose by 14.3% from 2021 and 22.5% from 2020. This is higher than at regular supermarkets and online food ordering platforms.