The Good Food Chain has ceased trading and will be going into liquidation following a recent investigation into an outbreak of listeria.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) confirmed on Wednesday (26 June) that the company was not the source of the outbreak, which resulted in the death of five hospital patients. Having been eliminated from the multi-agency inquiry, it could resume production. The FSA added that "the business has been verified as meeting food safety legislation and as following best practice for manufacturing, cleaning and environmental standards".
However, with production having been continuously suspended since 5 June the impact on the company, which employed 125 people, was "too great for the business to remain viable".
Owner Martyn Corfield, who founded the company in 1996, said: "I was absolutely devastated to hear that people had died after contracting listeriosis and have been thinking constantly about all those affected and their families over the last few weeks.
"We have been co-operating very closely with the investigating authorities, and while Wednesday's confirmation that the Good Food Chain was not the source of the outbreak was welcome, it ultimately came too late in the day for us to get the business back on to a sustainable footing.
"I feel desperately sorry for our brilliant and hardworking staff who, through no fault of their own, now find themselves out of work. I would like to thank them for everything they have done for the Good Food Chain, and particularly for their loyalty and patience over the last few weeks."
The liquidation will be handled by Currie Young.