Criminal charges against the owners of a business at the centre of an alleged E. coli outbreak have been dropped, a local authority has confirmed.
It follows 15 people becoming ill in July 2015, which Public Health England linked to Robinsons Butchers.
Stockton Council brought criminal charges against the firm, but now says the case is "extremely complex", and it will not continue with prosecution.
However, it will offer "full support" to anyone pursuing civil claims.
In January, Janet Bell and Trevor Robinson appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court, where they denied seven breaches of food hygiene relating to the Billingham branch of Robinsons.
A spokesperson for Stockton Council said: "All of the active legal cases in which we are involved are subject to regular review.
"This particular case is extremely complex and following careful consideration, we have decided not to continue with the prosecution on this occasion.
"However, we will be giving our full support to any civil claims being pursued by those affected, and we would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for their help and cooperation throughout this difficult time."