ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) --The number of confirmed cases of food poisoning from a Thanksgiving meal served to hundreds in Antioch last week has climbed as more ill people have been identified. The death toll remains at three.
"I went with some family and friends and we all sat down to have Thanksgiving dinner together," said Alan Lara, food poisoning victim.
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Lara is one of nearly two dozen people who found themselves violently ill after eating a Thanksgiving meal at the American Legion Center in Antioch. A meal attended by more than 800 people, sponsored by the Golden Hills Community Church.
"Maybe 9, 10 at night, I'm sitting in my car with a friend, just talking, shooting the breeze and out of nowhere I throw my door open and I start throwing up," said Lara.
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Contra Costa health officials now say they have 21 confirmed cases of foodborne illness related to the Thanksgiving feast, three of those people, from two assisted living centers, died.
"We have tested for a number of common food borne illnesses, like E. coli, norovirus, salmonella, so far the samples we have tested, they did not find any of these," said Louise McNitt, Contra Costa Health Services.
The samples will now be sent to the Centers for Disease Control for further testing. Golden Hills put this statement on their website: "We continue to do what we can to help with the investigation that is ongoing. Evidence that once pointed away from the meal that we provided to so many, now seems to point back that direction."
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Lara said he brought home some leftovers for his little dog, a 16-year-old Chihuahua mix.
"She's doing better now, but I almost lost her, she was so sick she could barely move," said Lara.