Bird flu blamed for 233 layoffs at Jennie-O plant in Faribault, Minn.

Due to the current bird flu outbreak, the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Faribault, Minnesota is cutting back to a single processing shift "for the foreseeable future."

Temporary layoffs at the plant will affect 233 employees. The cuts will take effect May 26.

"This will be a temporary layoff and our intent is to have everyone come back to work when bird numbers return to normal levels," plant manager Randy L. Vergin said in a statement. "We do not have an anticipated return to work date at this time, but look forward to welcoming our team members back when production levels return to normal."

At last count, 82 turkey and chicken farms in 21 counties in Minnesota have been hit by avian influenza, wiping out more than 5.48 million birds. One farm in Nicollet County lost more than 1.1 million chickens, state officials announced Tuesday.

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