MOUNT KISCO, New York (WABC) -- The Westchester County Health Department has issued an urgent health alert for a rare foodborne illness.
The department is investigating at least two cases of toxoplasmosis, an illness caused by a parasite that can be deadly for those who are immunocompromised. It can also cause birth defects or miscarriages in pregnant women, and even healthy individuals can develop symptoms.
They say two people who went to wild game dinners at the Moses Taylor Junior American Legion Post 136 in Mount Kisco got sick after eating undercooked venison.
"We feel horrible for the people who got sick, we wish them a speedy recovery, we really do," said American Legion Post 136 Commander Ed Sordellini.
The hall, which hosts events year-round, ranging from bar mitzvahs to weddings, rented the space to a Brewster-based organization for its annual "game dinners."
"I clean the kitchen out. If you're going to cook, I take the pots and pans -- take all my utensils and put them away," Sordellini said. "That way if you're coming, you're bringing your own stuff, and you're going to reheat the food here, you're not cooking the food here, you're reheating the food here,"
It's estimated that 300 people attended two dinners held on Jan. 19 and 20.
As for the American Legion, on Wednesday night, it hosted its spaghetti dinner, and future events are planned.
The general manager is seeking to reassure the public.
"It was contracted out and it was not out cooks that did anything," general manager Don Ford said.
The health department asks that anyone who attended these dinners, and ate food or leftovers, to contact their doctor immediately.
They are also asking anyone who is pregnant, immunocompromised or experiencing visual changes or any other symptoms to call them at 914-813-5180 during business hours, and 914-813-5000 after hours.