Three people died and another five were hospitalized after a community Thanksgiving dinner in Antioch, Calif., but health authorities can't say for sure whether the meal is to blame. One other leading theory: All eight lived at the same nursing facility and might have consumed something there that made them ill, reports KTVU. As of Monday, all but one of the five hospitalized patients had been released. Those who fell ill were among more than 800 people who attended a dinner hosted by a local church at an American Legion hall in the San Francisco suburb. So far, no others appear to have fallen ill, and health authorities have not yet identified what sickened the eight, who began experiencing nausea the following day. Some of the food was prepared on site and some was donated.
“They could have gotten sick from the food they prepared at their living facility,” says a health official with Contra Costa County, per the Los Angeles Times. “At this point, we have no reason to conclude it was the food at the event.” In fact, another charity dinner went on as scheduled Monday at the American Legion facility. The father of a 41-year-old mentally disabled man tells the San Francisco Chronicle that his son, who resides at a group home, remains hospitalized with kidney failure after eating the Thanksgiving meal. (Health authorities have disclosed no information about those who got ill, so it's not clear whether he's among the eight.) “I’m terrified,” he says. “Jimmy is my life. I’m all he’s got.”