At least 17 people fell sick including three dead in what appears to be a serious case of food contamination in a Thanksgiving dinner in San Francisco Bay Area.
The SF Bay Area health officials are still trying to figure out what exactly caused the illness. That being said, they suspect the Thanksgiving meal as the root cause.
In light of the current situation, officials on Tuesday appealed to the public to throw away any leftovers from the community Thanksgiving dinner. The church-sponsored meal held at the American Legion Hall in Antioch was reportedly polluted making people sick within less than 24 hours, they believed.
About The Thanksgiving Dinner
As told by the Associated Press, the free, community meal is held annually on Thanksgiving Day. The feast which was hosted by the Golden Hills Community Church this year served over 800 people. Also, it is important to realize that the meal is open for all, which includes residents of assisted living facilities, homeless people and anyone else in need of a holiday meal.
The Thanksgiving Dinner Contamination
The Thanksgiving meal this year wasn’t as merry as it has been in the past years. People who ate the food got sick within less than 24 hours, whilst three elderly people lost their lives. The most compelling evidence here is the age apparently, which ranged from early teens to 70s.
Specific details on the deaths of the three assisted living facility residents continue to remain undisclosed. As of Tuesday, one on the 17 affected remained in hospital while the rest were recovering.
“Anyone with food from this event should not eat it, and should throw it away,” said Dr. Louise McNitt, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County. “This is likely a food-borne illness, but our investigation is ongoing.”
The Source of Contamination
The food came as donation from several volunteering households, and included turkeys, hams and sweet potato dishes cooked prior to the event. Other food items such as mashed potatoes and stuffing, gravy and green beans were prepared on-site or reheated.
About The Deceased
The three elderly people who died as a result of the food-borne illness reportedly lived at facilities by the following names: Minerva’s Place and Minerva’s Place IV in Antioch, according to the East Bay Times. The names of those who died haven’t been released as of Tuesday.
“It’s tragic. They were thinking that they would have a good Thanksgiving, and now they have passed away,” said an administrator at the residences. “I just want to know what happened. I don’t want this to ever happen again.”
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