ANTIOCH (KRON)—Two more people have been sickened from an communal Thanksgiving dinner at Antioch’s American Legion Hall bringing the number of cases to 21 including three killed last Thursday, according to Contra Costa County Health Services.
All of the people sickened including the people who died displayed symptoms within 24 hours of eating the meal which was prepared by volunteers from the Golden Hills Community Church.
The two newest cases were found after Contra Costa Health Services conducted its own investigation. They did not go to the hospital, but had symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
The three people who died were identified by the Contra Costa County Coroner’s office Wednesday as Christopher Cappetti, 43, Chooi Keng Cheah, 59, and Jane Evans, 69.
All three were residents at assisted living facilities in Antioch and all had similar “intestinal abnormalities” that were discovered during autopsies, according to the coroner’s office.
Regulators with the California Department of Social Services will be examining the facilities, Minerva’s Place and Minerva Place IV, to make sure staff took appropriate steps to ensure the residents received timely emergency medical care, department spokesman Michael Weston said.
The cause of the deaths and illnesses, which surfaced after 835 people ate the meal, is still under investigation but county health officials said it’s likely a food-borne illness.
Biological samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional testing which is a process that could take months.
People are encouraged to practice food safety at all times,said county spokesman Victoria Balladares.
People should wash their hands thoroughly, separate raw and cooked food and properly store ingredients and prepared food, Balladares said.
You can find more food safety tips are posted at the Health Services website at http://cchealth.org.