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3 Dead, Dozens Hospitalized Due to a Common Bacteria Served at a Thanksgiving Dinner

Dec 23, 2016 05:09 AM EST
Thanksgiving Dinner
Clostridium perfringens responsible for the recent food contamination that killed three people and sent over two dozen other to hospitals.
(Photo : Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Clostridium perfringens, one of the most common foodborne bacteria in the United States, is responsible for the recent food contamination that killed three people and sent nearly two dozen other to hospitals.

According to the report from Washington Post, the victims attended a Thanksgiving dinner at the Americans Legion Hall in the San Francisco suburb of Antioch in California. The foods served during the event came from different sources. Some were prepared and brought from homes, while others were prepared at the Legion Hall. Stores and restaurants also provided some of the foods eaten by the victims.

"Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the U.S," said Dr. Louise McNitt, deputy health officer for Contra Costa Health Services, in a report from KTVU. "It can be found in the human intestine without hurting us, but eating food containing large amounts of this bacteria can cause illness and in some cases death."

CDC still wasn't able to pinpoint the main source of the contamination. However, stool samples taken from the affected people confirmed the presence of Clostridium perfringens. Other foodborne bacteria were taken out of the picture after the samples tested negative for 21 foodborne illness, including e.coli and salmonella.

After conducting extensive interviews, CDC investigators found that most of the affected people ate turkey and mashed potatoes. Additionally, the patients also ate around the same time. The cooked turkey in question was brought in the event after being prepared in a private home.

So far, about 25 people who went to the event were sickened by Clostridium perfringens. Sadly, three patients died due to the foodborne illness.

Clostridium perfringens is commonly found in meat and poultry. The bacteria can be killed with thorough cooking. However, small amounts left in the utensils could multiply at a fast rate and cross contaminate foods.

The symptom of Clostridium perfringens infection may vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms of this foodborne illness include stomach cramping and diarrhea that could last for 6 to 12 hours.

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