Health News

California Officials Investigating Deaths, Illness After Thanksgiving Dinner

Photo from Pixabay

Sometimes, Thanksgiving dinners don’t always end happily. Three people died and five were brought to the hospital after partaking of a community Thanksgiving feast in Northern California, authorities said.

The people who fell ill were dinner guests on Thursday at an American Legion Hall in Antioch according to Marilyn Underwood, director of environmental health for Contra Costa County Health Services. They were all elderly and resided in the same housing facility, Dr. Louise McNitt, director of infectious diseases for the county health department said.

Health officials have been investigating the cause of the illness, and said that it was not yet clear whether or not the Thanksgiving meal was the cause of the incident, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Underwood said, “They could have gotten sick from the food they prepared at their living facility. At this point, we have no reason to conclude it was the food at the event.”

None of the victims have been identified. There were around 835 people who took part in the Thanksgiving meal at the American Legion Hall, which was hosted by the Golden Hills Community Church.

The event was open to the public, and welcomed families, the homeless, and the elderly living in care facilities. The dinner served included traditional food like turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Underwood explained that any and all sorts of people attended. “They fed anybody that wanted to come.”

After the dinner on Thursday, the Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch admitted eight people from the adult care residence for symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Officials from the medical center confirmed that three had died, four had been treated and released, and one remained in their care.

While officials are not ruling out the dinner, they believe it was not caused by an outbreak of any food-borne diseases, as all the victims came from the same place. There is no immediate threat to the general public, they confirm.

McNitt asked those who attended the Thanksgiving meal to come forward if they felt any of the symptoms, saying,

We’re interviewing people that we know are ill and also trying to find people that may have had some symptoms but did not seek any healthcare.

McNitt added, “We’re saddened that this incident occurred during what should be a festive time. Our hearts go out to the families affected.”

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.