According to multiple media outlets, three people died and five others sickened following a church-organized Thanksgiving dinner in Antioch, California.
Cause of Illness Unclear
The Sutter Delta Medical Center says eight patients were admitted with foodborne illness symptoms on Friday and Saturday. Three of the patients died, and one remains hospitalized, reports media sources.
All eight of the patients live in the same assisted living community and took part in a Thanksgiving dinner organized by Golden Hills Community Church. According to media sources, the event serves seniors, homeless populations, and others who would be alone on Thanksgiving.
The dinner consisted of Thanksgiving staples, including mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing, which were all prepared on site in a commercial-grade facility. However, the turkey, bread products, and pies were donated by other food facilities.
Media outlets report that other residents and staff members took part in the dinner and did not get ill. Officials are investigating whether additional people were sickened following the dinner but did not seek medical treatment.
The cause of the illness is unclear, but local health officers say the incident does not put the general public at risk.
Foodborne Illness Statistics
The following information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- An estimated one in six Americans – or 48 million people – get sick from foodborne diseases each year.
- 128,000 people require hospitalization annually due to foodborne illnesses.
- An estimated 3,000 people die each year from foodborne diseases.
- Salmonella causes the highest number of deaths annually of all domestically acquired foodborne illnesses – an estimated 378 fatalities each year.