The Good Food Chain: Firm in listeria probe goes into liquidation
A food supplier linked to a fatal listeria outbreak has gone into liquidation, days after being told it could restart production.
The Good Food Chain, based in Stone, Staffordshire, said all 125 employees would lose their jobs.
The firm said the impact of suspending production during an inquiry was "too great" for it "to remain viable".
It voluntarily ceased manufacturing on 5 June following the deaths of five hospital patients.
They had eaten contaminated pre-packed sandwiches produced by the company.
It emerged on Wednesday that The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said production could be restarted.
The FSA said the firm was no longer part of its inquiry into the source of the listeria outbreak, but as it had produced and supplied products linked to the case, it remained part of the wider investigation.
Business owner Martyn Corfield said: "Ultimately [Wednesday's news] came too late in the day for us to get the business back on to a sustainable footing."
Mr Corfield, who founded the company in 1996, said he was "devastated" by the outbreak and felt "desperately sorry" for the company's "hardworking staff who, through no fault of their own, now find themselves out of work".
He said: "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."
In addition to the 125 employees, the firm also used agency staff. A total of 40 were let go when production was suspended.
The liquidation will be handled by Currie Young.
Eight hospitals in seven NHS Trusts have reported cases of listeria linked to pre-packed sandwiches and salads eaten by patients.
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