A food company has gone into liquidation after being investigated over a listeria outbreak at a number of UK hospitals.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) confirmed on Wednesday that the Good Food Chain was not the source of the outbreak, but the chain's founder said the confirmation "came too late in the day".
The food supplier announced today that it was to cease trading with immediate effect, and would be going into liquidation in due course.
All of its 125 employees will lose their jobs.
In a statement, Good Food Chain said the impact of the FSA probe had been "too great" for the company to "remain viable".
Good Food Chain’s founder Martyn Corfield said he was “absolutely devastated” to hear about those who have died because of the listeria outbreak.
"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,” he said.
"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 firm, which was founded in 1996 and employed 125 people, with an additional 40 agency staff who were let go at the start of June when production was suspended.
Eight hospitals across seven NHS Trusts have reported cases of listeria linked to pre-packed sandwiches and salads, with five hospital patients dying after eating contaminated food.
The same strain of listeria was also found in meat from North Country Cooked Meats, who supplied Good Food Chain.
North Country Cooked Meats remains closed, the FSA has said.