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4 hospitalized in new suspected food poisoning in home for people with disabilities

Welfare Ministry to investigate incident at Neve Ram facility in north, which comes weeks after 3 died at a similar institution; father of one patient: ‘No lessons learned’

Illustrative image of a doctor in a hospital ward (sudok1; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of a doctor in a hospital ward (sudok1; iStock by Getty Images)

The Health Ministry said Sunday that four people from a shelter for people with disabilities were hospitalized with stomach pains after what their relatives said was food poisoning.

The ministry did not specify the cause of Saturday’s hospitalizations and said the patients underwent testing before being returned to the Neve Ram residences in the northern town of Rechasim.

The father of one hospitalized resident blamed “rotten meat they ate” and requested that someone at the Welfare Ministry care for the patient, “especially after the difficult and unfortunate case at Beit Dafna.”

He was referring to the death of three residents of a shelter in Holon three weeks ago from food contamination.

“It turns out there was no lessons learnt there, and sadly for us our children are in grave danger,” the father said.

The Welfare Ministry said that it will conduct an in-depth investigation into the incident. It vowed to take steps if the shelter is determined to have not acted according to ministry guidelines.

The entrance to the Beit Dafna shelter in Holon on May 3, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

Neve Ram has previously drawn scrutiny after a resident died two years ago following alleged neglect by staff.

In the deadly Holon case, a Health Ministry report filed two weeks ago said officials had found “several severe” flaws in the level of maintenance at the Beit Dafna facility, the overall level of cleanliness and how food was handled in the kitchen.

The ministry attributed the lethal food poisoning to mishandling of meat. Food samples taken from the shelter were found to be infected with Clostridium perfringens bacteria, which is usually found in human excrement.

The bacteria was also found in stool samples from seven patients who were hospitalized as a result of the mass poisoning.

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