ConAgra Foods has begun taking steps to close its Slim Jim manufacturing facility in North Carolina, with the loss of 234 jobs.

A spokesperson for ConAgra told just-food that the company has unveiled its plans to "slowly decrease employment levels" at the Garner site "over the next several months" as production is gradually shifted to the group's factory in Troy, Ohio.

"We have notified 234 employees in Garner that their positions will end in mid-April 2011. The Garner plant is scheduled to be closed on May 27, 2011," the spokesperson said.

ConAgra will provide benefits and services, such as severance, outplacement, job retraining and performance incentives, the company said. "We are committed to treating employees fairly and respectfully and meet our obligations to them based on the completed discussions with the local UFCW," the company said.

The closure follows an explosion at the facility in June 2009, which injured more than 40 people and resulted in three fatalities.