14 now sick, 3 dead after Thanksgiving meal in Antioch


ANTIOCH (BCN) — The three people who died and the 14 others who were sickened after eating a communal Thanksgiving dinner in Antioch are all associated with the same care facility, according to county health officials.

County officials didn’t disclose which care facility the seventeen people are from, but they range from ages 13 to 70. Autopsies on the three people who died are happening Tuesday and their names may be released later Tuesday afternoon, according to the Contra Costa County coroner’s office.

All eight people were admitted to Sutter Delta Medical Center at various times between Friday and Saturday with what appeared to be food-borne illnesses. They had all eaten Thanksgiving meals served by Golden Hills Community Church at Antioch’s American Legion Hall.

One person remains hospitalized, but is recovering, according to health officials.


The cause of the deaths and illnesses, which surfaced after 835 people ate the meals Thursday, is still under investigation, Contra Costa Health Services spokeswoman Victoria Balladares said. But officials said it’s likely a food borne illness.

All of the victims appear to be from at least three separate assisted living facilities, or are relatives of those residents, and all ate the meal prepared by the Golden Hills Community Church.

Autopsies on the three people who died were taking place today but county officials have yet to release their names, according to the Contra Costa County coroner’s office.

Some of the food served at the meal was prepared at the American Legion Hall, some was simply heated up there and some was prepared at the private homes of church volunteers and brought to the dinner, according to health officials.

“Our dinner in Antioch is only one of a number of possibilities that County Health is investigating,” church officials said in a statement posted on the Golden Hills website. “We are fully cooperating with health officials and are praying fervently for the families who lost loved ones and for others who are sick.”

County health officials are doing “a very thorough job and we are anxiously awaiting news from them,” pastor Phil Hill said on Tuesday.

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