Texas church urges members to shut up about salmonella outbreak linked to luncheon
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A Texas church is warning members not to talk about a salmonella outbreak linked to a community meal served there last week.

At least 30 people were sickened after eating at a luncheon hosted by Bethesda United Methodist Church in Weatherford, and state authorities are investigating the cause and its link to the meal, reported the Weatherford Democrat.

Three cases of salmonella have been confirmed, and nearly three dozen others reported symptoms of food poisoning.

Several children have been hospitalized, and one woman was admitted to an intensive care unit, the newspaper reported.

State officials are trying to identify the food source of the outbreak, but the church's youth pastor on Thursday urged members not to talk about the luncheon or post updates on social media about anyone who was sickened.

“Seems that everyone is on the slow road to recovery, so praise the Lord,” posted Youth Pastor Spencer Row on the church's Facebook page. “Unfortunately, the situation that has taken place in our church has grabbed the attention of our local media. At this time, we as church staff, believe it is in the church’s best interest to allow our conference to handle this situation. We have taken the necessary steps to provide assistance internally. We ask that you refrain from posting or sharing any further information about this situation, for the protection of our members and our church as a whole."

“Please continue to pray for everyone, and make known how much love we have for one another!" Row added. "It’s in times like these that the true strength of the church is revealed.”

Salmonella is spread by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the bacteria, which can live in undercooked poultry or eggs, raw milk and some fruits or vegetables.