Three people died and five others were sickened after eating a Thanksgiving meal at an American Legion Hall in the San Francisco area. The dinner was prepared by a local church, according to a Contra Costa County Health Services spokeswoman, CBS San Francisco reported.
All eight people were admitted to a local medical center at various times between Friday and Saturday with what appeared to be a fast-onset foodborne illnesses. Their symptoms included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Three people died, four were treated and released, and one person remains hospitalized, the hospital told CBS News. The cause of the deaths and illnesses, which surfaced after 835 people ate the meal, is still under investigation, Health Services spokeswoman Victoria Balladares told the station.
The nondenominational Golden Hills Church serves the dinner every year to the homeless, seniors, and others who are often alone at Thanksgiving. The church put on dinners at three locations, church member Rona Tenorio told the East Bay Times. Some food is prepared on site. Church members also cook at home and drop off dishes, Tenorio said.
Contra Costa Health Services officials said all the victims were elderly and belonged to the same unidentified care facility. Others from the same facility who ate at the Thanksgiving meal did not get sick, nor, apparently, did any other diners.
“If it were a foodborne outbreak, we’d expect to see a lot more people getting sick,” Balladares said. READ MORE