A 25-year-old professional dancer has tragically died after eating mislabeled cookies from a popular supermarket chain.
According to the New York Post, Orla Baxendale died on January 11 after eating a Vanilla Florentine cookie from Stew Leonard’s.
The mislabeled cookies contained peanuts and triggered a serious allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock, a law firm representing Baxendale’s family confirmed.
In a statement, attorney Marijo Adimey said that Orla’s death was “stemmed from an unfortunate incident involving the consumption of a cookie manufactured by Cookies United and sold by Stew Leonard’s, which contained undisclosed peanuts.”
Adimey highlighted the negligence of both the manufacturer and the seller for not properly labeling the product.
After the incident, Stew Leonard’s initiated a recall of Vanilla Florentine Cookies sold in their stores.
Stew Leonard’s CEO Stew Leonard Jr. said in a statement: “I’m here with our family and, I mean we’re just all devastated, very sad. I have four daughters, one of them is in her 20s. I can imagine how that family feels right now.”
Cookies United said it had communicated the ingredient change to the supermarket chain months before Orla’s passing.
The wholesaler said that Stew Leonard’s had been informed in 2023 that the product contained peanuts, and all shipped items were ‘labeled accordingly.’
Cookies United released a statement that read: “Stew Leonard’s claimed in an earlier press release that ‘the cookies contain peanuts, which was an ingredient not disclosed to Stew Leonard’s by the manufacturer.
“Unfortunately, considering the tragedy of these circumstances, we need to point out that Stew Leonard’s was notified by Cookies United in July of 2023 that this product now contains peanuts, and all products shipped to them have been labeled accordingly.”
Cookies United also accused Stew Leonard’s of repackaging the product under their brand without proper allergen disclosure.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Food, Standards, and Product Safety Division has started investigating.
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