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Sara Lee to Cut Almost 1,700 Jobs

Sara Lee said it plans to cut nearly 1,700 jobs, or about 3% of its work force, in the company's latest effort to reduce costs.

The company said it would close a pork plant and spice facility in Mississippi, cutting 1,200 jobs as it moves those product lines to outside suppliers.

The company separately announced another 489 job cuts throughout Sara Lee after the latest review of its business.

The cuts are part of the company's long-term restructuring plan, which has seen it sell or spin off several businesses to focus on coffee and tea, U.S. deli meats, baked goods and European household products.

In separate filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it will record a pretax charge of $40 million related to the 489 job cuts throughout the company and a $34 million charge for impairment of goodwill in its North American Retail meats business.

The latter charge is part of $152 billion in goodwill impairment the company said it plans to record in the quarter ended December 30. Included in that overall charge is charge is $86 million in goodwill impairment related to its Brazilian coffee business.

That business has seen a sustained decline in profitability amid intense competition and economic conditions that have kept customers from paying the higher prices for Sara Lee's coffee that the company had expected, Sara Lee said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commissions.