3 dead, at least 5 sickened after Thanksgiving dinner

Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch said Monday it received eight patients with probably food borne symptoms between Friday and Saturday.

Contra Costa Health Services officials told a news conference Tuesday that one person remained hospitalized and the rest were recovering at home.

The cause of the deaths and illnesses, which surfaced after 835 people ate the meal, is still under investigation but officials said it's likely a food-borne illness. Officials do not believe there is a threat to the general public, reports say.

The County noted that there was a total of 800 people who were served at the event.

"People who are homeless, folks who are just poor, and even people who are lonely without family in the area gather to celebrate together for a nice meal", Shoemaker wrote. The event had been sponsored for a number of years, Underwood said. "We were not ourselves involved in the cooking of the meal".

Sometimes, Thanksgiving dinners don't always end happily. Officials are conducting tests on people at this time to figure out what caused the illness. Antioch's American Legion Hall has a county permit for food preparation. American Legion Post 161 maintains and cleans the interior of the building, and does have some signage on the building.

Some of the food is made at Antioch's American Legion Hall itself.

Marilyn Underwood, environmental health director for Contra Costa County's health department, said Monday that all eight patients came to the dinner from the same residential facility.

The meal hosted by the Golden Hills Community Church is an annual tradition.

The meal was prepared by a local church, according to a Contra Costa County Health Services spokeswoman, CBS San Francisco reported.

Rather, the food is prepared and delivered outside the building, according to Wilson.

The nondenominational Golden Hills Church has facilities in Antioch and Brentwood and was founded in 1983, according to information on its website.

'County Health officials have informed us that the source of the illness is not known and could have come from any of a number of sources. The church added that its members are "praying fervently for the families who lost loved ones and for others who are sick".