At least 17 people were sickened in the outbreak of foodborne illness that apparently killed three in the San Francisco Bay area, authorities told the East Bay Times on Tuesday as evidence pointed to the cause being a church-sponsored Thanksgiving dinner in which much of the food was prepared in homes. A day after saying that a county health permit was not required for the community dinner that served more than 800 people at an American Legion Hall, Contra Costa County health officials said they would now investigate whether a permit should be required next year, subjecting serving facilities to a county health inspection.
Nine additional cases of illness tied to the Thanksgiving Day event were reported Tuesday, on top of the eight revealed Monday. Attorney William Marler, who has litigated decades worth of foodborne illness cases, told the East Bay Times that the short incubation time pointed to the culprit being Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria associated with undercooked meats left to sit for long periods of time. Simple food safety, such as keeping hot food hot, cool foods cool and washing your hands can keep such events safe, Marler told the East Bay Times. READ MORE