3 Dead, 5 Sickened After Eating Church's Thanksgiving Dinner

Eight people from a Northern California assisted living facility were taken to an Antioch hospital after eating at an area American Legion.

Three people are dead and five others were sickened on Thanksgiving after eating at a Northern California church dinner.

Officials in Contra Costa County said Monday that attendees at a dinner hosted Thursday at the American Legion Hall in Antioch began showing up at an area hospital.

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Officials say more than 800 needy and lonely souls came to eat at the annual event, where various dishes are prepared by local restaurants, volunteers and various facilities.

Eight people were sickened at the dinner, which was held predominantly for the homeless and elderly by Golden Hills Community Church.

Three of them never left the hospital alive.

Confusing the investigation is the revelation that all eight victims live in the same assisted living facility.

"They could have gotten sick from food they prepared at their living facility rather than the Thanksgiving event," noted Dr. Marilyn Underwood with Contra Costa Health Services said at a press conference on Monday. "So at this point, we are not calling this a foodborne disease outbreak."

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Now Contra Costa Co. Deputy Health Officer Dr. Louise McNitt said officials must work backward to determine exactly who got sick, where and how.

"We're interviewing people that we know are ill. And we're also trying to find people who had some symptoms and maybe didn't seek any healthcare. So we're trying to get the word out to people who attended that to let us know if they were ill," McNitt said.

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