3 Dead, 8 Hospitalized After Eating at Community Thanksgiving Dinner in NorCal

At least 17 people fell ill after eating food from a free Thanksgiving dinner in Northern California — more than double the number of people initially reported in what health officials described Tuesday as a probable outbreak of food-borne illness.

At least eight of those who fell ill were admitted to the hospital in Antioch, just east of Berkeley, and of those, three people died, Contra Costa Health Services officials said. Only one person remained hospitalized on Tuesday, and officials said the person’s health was improving.

The 17 people either attended a dinner Thursday at an American Legion Hall in Antioch or consumed food that had been taken home afterward, according to Dr. Louise McNitt, director of infectious diseases for Contra Costa County Health Services.

Most became sick within 24 hours of eating the food, McNitt said. The patients range in age from teens to 70s, according to Marilyn Underwood, director of environmental health for the county health department. The identities of those who died were not released.

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