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Holiday Inn Dead Sea resort management referred to court over October food poisoning deaths

By Rana Husseini - Dec 09,2014 - Last updated at Dec 09,2014

AMMAN — The Amman prosecutor general has charged the administration of the Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea of causing the death of a mother and her child in mid-October, officials and the family’s lawyer said Tuesday.

Cerine Shawar, a 28-year-old dentist, and her three-year-old son Eziddin Oweiwi died one day apart on October 15 and 16 after consuming a meal from one of the hotel’s restaurants.

“We were informed today that the case was referred to court by the Amman prosecutor and that he accused the hotel of causing the death of the mother and her child,” lawyer Hussam Oweiwi told The Jordan Times.

The Amman prosecutor has determined that the resort did not follow standard health procedures when preparing the meals, which led to transmitting deadly bacteria to the mother and her son, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, said.

The prosecutor has questioned hotel employees and heard expert testimonies in toxicology and forensic medicine, Petra said.

The prosecutor charged the hotel’s general manager and several employees with causing the deaths and referred them to the relevant court, according to Petra.

The mother and son had consumed burgers along with other family members on October 13, after which they started exhibiting symptoms of food poisoning.

The resort’s nurse was called to check on their situation and the family was then taken to the Southern Shuneh Hospital and later transported to a hospital in Amman.

On the way, the boy, Eziddin, died in his parents’ arms and the following day the mother passed away.

Shawar’s husband and eight-month-old daughter were discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for food poisoning. 

Tests carried out by the Jordan Food and Drug Administration on samples of the leftover food ordered by the family from the hotel’s pool restaurant and taken to their room revealed high concentrations of the Bacillus cereus bacteria. 

Tests showed that food from the hotel’s kitchens conformed to health standards.

The family members, who live in Saudi Arabia, were vacationing at the Dead Sea.

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