Faribault, MN  (KROC-AM News) - A turkey process plant in southern Minnesota has ordered hundreds of temporary layoffs because of the bird flu crisis.

Jennie-O Foods says the outbreaks caused by the H5N2 avian flu has reduced the number of birds available for its supply chain, and that has prompted the company to reduce production at its plant in Faribault to a single shift beginning May 26th. The cutback in production will idle 233 workers for the foreseeable future.

“This will be a temporary layoff and our intent is to have everyone come back to work when bird numbers return to normal levels,” said Randy L. Vergin, plant manager. “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 least 20 commercial turkey farms operated by Jennie O in Minnesota have been hit by outbreaks of the bird flu since late March.

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