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Antioch CA - 3 Die from food illness

ANTIOCH (KRON)—Three people are dead and others were hospitalized after having Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion Hall in Antioch.

Eight patients were admitted to Sutter Delta Medical Center with probable foodborne illnesses between Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26, according to the Center.

Three patients have died, four patients were treated and released, and one patient is still in the hospital.

The Contra Costa Health Department is investigating what caused the illness, but they do not think it is a risk to the general public.

Contra Costa Health Services spokeswoman Victoria Balladares said she didn’t know what organization was responsible for preparing the meals, but said it was a non-profit group serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal to roughly 835 people.

“If it were a food-borne outbreak, we’d expect to see a lot more people getting sick,” Balladares said.

County public health and environmental health officials are conducting an investigation to determine just what might have killed and sickened the diners, but Balladares said there is no current risk to the general public.

Typically, Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit that provides free meals to low-income and homeless residents, uses the American Legion Hall to serve its lunches.

Loaves and Fishes, however, was not the group responsible for the Thanksgiving meal and they will continue to provide meals as usual, Balladares said.

Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood hosted the Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion Hall, according to Autrey James, commander at American Legion Post 161.

“We are extremely, extremely upset that anyone lost their lives,” James said. “We were not ourselves involved in the cooking of the meal.”

The dinner was for senior citizens, homeless and others who would be alone for Thanksgiving.

It is unclear at this time if the meal is connected to the food borne illness.

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