December 3, 2022

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Police Launch Investigation after 3 Die at Holon Care Facility

2 min read

On Monday, an announcement was made by the Israel Police disclosed that they were launching an investigation into a poisoning incident that had occurred at a care facility in Holon. A month ago, three people had died at the facility for people who have disabilities because of food poisoning. The District police department in Tel Aviv said that they had decided to launch a probe into the matter after guidance from prosecutors. The investigation into the Beit Dafna facility would be conducted by the fraud unit of the police department. The decision of the police was lauded by MK Gilad Kariv of the Labor party.

He responded to the announcement via a tweet and said that even though a month had already passed after the incident, he hoped that the disturbing deaths would be properly investigated by the police. He added that they would also demand for clear policies to be developed for investigating deaths that occur at such facilities. He went on to state that it was the responsible of the State of Israel to ensure the health and wellbeing of people who are living in such settings. Near the end of April and the beginning of May, three people residing at the Beit Dafna facility had fallen ill.

They also showed symptoms of food poisoning and ultimately lost their lives. The Health Ministry had looked into the matter and had reported after a week that the cause of death was contamination that occurred in the kitchen. A number of other people living at the facility had also suffered, with one needing hospitalization and others suffering from mild symptoms of food poisoning. A special team had been sent by the Health Ministry to the Beit Dafna facility after the incident. They had issued a report that highlighted a several deficiencies when it came to the maintenance of the facility, the handling of food in the kitchen as well as the overall cleanliness.

The ministry stated that they had found flaws in how the cleanliness of the dishes was maintained, how the food was handled and even how it was separated during the different processes involved in cooking. The report stated that because of the serious illness and their discoveries, they were immediately closing the kitchen. The Health Ministry had sent their report to the police as well as the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry. According to the ministry, meat had not been properly handled in the kitchen and this had led to the deadly food poisoning.

They had obtained food samples from the Beit Dafna facility and they found bacteria usually found in human excrement, called Clostridium perfringens. Seven other patients who had also ended up in the hospital because of the food poisoning also had the same bacteria in their stool samples. A couple of weeks later, four people from another facility for those with disabilities called Neve Ram were also brought to hospitals because of suspected food poisoning and pain in the stomach.

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