Officials said Monday that they are trying to determine if a Thanksgiving dinner served by a church in California is what led to the deaths of three people and sickened five others.
The Thanksgiving meal was served at the American Legion Hall in Antioch and hosted by Golden Hills Community Church for seniors, homeless, and others who might have otherwise been alone for the holiday, Contra Costa Public Health officials said Monday.
“We recently were informed that several people from the same care facility in Antioch, who were at our
Antioch Thanksgiving Dinner, became sick,” the church said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with health officials and are praying fervently for the families who lost loved ones and for others who are sick.”
Sutter Delta hospital treated eight elderly people on Friday and Saturday who fell sick after the meal, possibly from a food borne illness, officials said. All of the victims lived in the same facility, so officials said it was not certain that the meal caused the victims to become ill but that suspect it is the culprit.
Officials said 835 people attended the event and ate the meal.
Three of the patients died, four others were released, and one remains hospitalized.
Health officials said there is no risk to the general public.
The food served at the Thanksgiving meal was donated by restaurants and volunteers, as well as prepared on site, officials said. They said they are testing and interviewing victims to determine the cause of the sickness.