Three dead, three hospitalized in Holon disabilities home from food poisoning

The tragedy began overnight Saturday, as one resident began to feel bad, lost consciousness and passed away. Two others died on Monday morning.

 Handicap home Beit Dafna in Holon, where three residents died on May 1-2, 2022. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Handicap home Beit Dafna in Holon, where three residents died on May 1-2, 2022.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Three residents of the Beit Dafna home for individuals with mental disabilities are hospitalized with food-poisoning symptoms after three others died since Sunday, Wolfson Medical Center said on Tuesday morning.

The three victims were two women aged 80 and 46 and a 65-year-old man, all with preexisting medical conditions. At least 11 residents altogether had symptoms, N12 reported.

The residents began to feel bad and suffer from diarrhea overnight between Saturday and Sunday. One woman passed out and died after a Magen David Adom team could not resuscitate her. Two others died on Monday morning, the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry said.

A Health Ministry team found defects in the home’s kitchen and also opened an investigation; Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry Director-General Sigal Moran directed her office to investigate the issue as well.

Beit Dafna is part of the Beit Ekshtein chain, which is part of the Danel Group.

 Holon (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Holon (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

"I've been active for 37 years in order to close these homes and to get people to understand that they are not worthy for human living," said Naama Lerner, head of an NGO called "Hatnuah L'atzmaut" (The Movement for Independence) in an interview on KAN radio. 

"If these people had died at a gourmet restaurant the whole country would be in an uproar," she said.

It is not enough to close down the kitchen –, and the relevant authorities needed to treat the core problems such as Danel Group's monopoly on special-needs homes, Lerner said.

One of the residents' parents said that family members were given a directive not to speak to the media and would not be allowed entry into the home if they did so, N12 reported.

Beit Ekshtein denied the report. 

Beit Dafna said on Monday that “The moment we received the initial report about the incident, the company in coordinatedion with the certified authorities in the Welfare and Health ministries in order to identify what caused the saddening incident," Beit Dafna said on Monday. 

"As a first and immediate step, the existing kitchen was closed and food is being supplied to the residents by an external provider. The company is acting with complete transparency and full cooperation with all of the necessary professional bodies.”