A County Durham butcher shop which was part of a probe into a salmonella outbreak in the region has decided to close.
Chapman and Sons butchers in Blackhall Colliery has made the decision to cease trading, Public Health England North East have confirmed.
The authority was carrying out investigations into an outbreak of salmonella - which health experts say could have a possible link to a butchers shop.
Last month Public Health England North East had advised people not to eat any cold pre-cooked meats and savouries bought on or before February 19 from Chapman and Sons butchers.
In a statement at the time the authority had said a definitive source of the outbreak had not yet been confirmed, but several of the affected people are known to have eaten pre-cooked meats and savouries from the shop.
To date, there are 19 confirmed cases of salmonella and three suspected cases.
Some of the cases are known to have been people living in the Horden, Blackhall Colliery, Hesleden and Hartlepool area.
Public Health England North East’s health protection team is continuing to work with the environmental health and public health teams from Durham County Council to investigate an outbreak of salmonella infection.
Consultant in health protection and chair of the outbreak control team, Dr Deb Wilson, said the decision was solely made by the butchers.
She said: “The decision to close the premises is one that has been taken solely by Chapman and Sons and was not advised or required by the outbreak control team.
“Management at the shop continue to support us in our investigation.
“To date, there are 19 confirmed cases of salmonella and three suspected cases.”