Published: Wed, December 07, 2016
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

3 dead, at least 5 sickened after Thanksgiving dinner

Three people died and another five were hospitalized after a community Thanksgiving dinner in Antioch, Calif., but health authorities can't say for sure whether the meal is to blame.

The dinner, sponsored by Golden Hills Community Church of Brentwood at the local American Legion Hall, was attended by more than 800 people, officials said.

Golden Hills Community Church has been hosting their Thanksgiving meal at the American Legion Hall/Veterans Memorial Hall for 20 years, and there has never been a problem, Wilson said.

According to WPVI, officials say a Thanksgiving meal served to 835 people may be linked to three deaths and several other illnesses. The three people who died were admitted to the hospital on Friday and Saturday. "At this point, we have no reason to conclude it was the food at the event". "They had pies. So it's a pretty traditional type of meal for Thanksgiving".

But by Tuesday, as the numbers increased, officials learned that the 17 people were residents from at least three assisted living facilities.

An unattributed statement posted on the church's website Monday night states: "Our dinner in Antioch is only one of a number of possibilities that county health is investigating". The church added that its members are "praying fervently for the families who lost loved ones and for others who are sick".

Volunteers prepared the mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing on site, at a commercial-grade facility. "We will try to post updates from County Health as we are made aware". Deputy Health Officer Dr. Louise McNitt said officials must work backward to determine exactly who got sick, where and how. "It saddens me so much that this happened". I told them that we couldn't accept their meals.

He said his son became ill after attending the Thanksgiving dinner. "About one o'clock in the morning, I had cramps and a bad stomachache".

However, it remains uncertain if the victims fell sick after eating the diner at the church or at the assisted living facility where they all resided.

Testing so far has ruled out norovirus, but health officials need more time to investigate what the pathogen is.

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