A shelter for people with disabilities in Holon has come under scrutiny after three of its residents died one after the other within the last couple of days, apparently as a result of food poisoning.

A special team sent to the Beit Dafna shelter by the Health Ministry found severe deficiencies in its kitchen, according to reports Monday, and has instructed the staff to shut down the kitchen completely until the investigation is completed.

A few residents began feeling ill during the night between Saturday and Sunday, with some suffering from diarrhea.

One of them, who had suffered from an underlying medical condition, lost consciousness while being examined by the facility’s medical staff. Paramedics who were rushed to the scene attempted to resuscitate her, but efforts failed and she was pronounced dead on Sunday.

Three other residents were rushed to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, two of whom, who had also suffered from underlying medical conditions, died Monday morning. The third resident is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

Initial findings point to possible food poisoning, the Health Ministry stated, without providing further details.

Illustrative: View of a patient food tray at the English Mission Hospital, in Nazareth. (Moshe Shai / FLASH90)

According to a report by the Walla news site, a professional team from the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry was also sent to the shelter in order to provide the staff with further assistance.

The team will remain at the facility until the Health Ministry completes its investigation, the report said.

The director-general of the ministry, Sigal Moran, has reportedly instructed its staff to establish a review board to look into the facility’s conduct.

“Immediately after being notified of the first incident, the shelter began working together with the certified professionals from the health and welfare ministries to identify the cause of this unfortunate event,” a statement issued by the Beit Dafna shelter read.

“As a first step, the facility’s kitchen was shut down and food is being provided to the residents by an external provider. The shelter has taken steps to be as transparent as possible while fully cooperating with the relevant entities, ”the statement added.

According to the Beit Dafna website, there are currently 138 residents above the age of 9 with some form of intellectual disability at the facility.

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