A 25-year-old professional dancer has died from an allergic reaction after eating a mislabeled cookie.
Daily Caller reports that Órla Baxendale went into anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction on Jan. 11 after she ate Vanilla Florentine Cookies that contained peanuts sold at a local supermarket chain, Stew Leonard. It was reported that the label did not reflect peanuts as part of the ingredient.
Professional Dancer Dies After Consuming Mislabeled Holiday Cookie https://t.co/Y9VI0SytDY
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 26, 2024
The President and CEO of the supermarket chain, Stew Leonard Jr., released a statement claiming the manufacturer, Cookies United, did not inform them of a change of ingredient in their Vanilla Florentine Cookies.
“It was a holiday cookie. It was a one-shot deal,” Leonard said. “We bought it from an outside supplier, and unfortunately, this supplier changed the recipe and started going from soy nuts to peanuts. Our chief safety officer was never notified.”
On the other hand, Cookies United released a statement saying they notified the supermarket chain about the presence of peanuts in the product in July 2023 and that they had labeled the product accordingly.
“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,” a representative from Cookies United said. “This product is sold under the Stew Leonard’s brand and repackaged at their facilities. The incorrect label was created by, and applied to, their product by Stew Leonard’s.”
The family attorney, Marijo Adimey, stated that Baxandale’s death was preventable and that it occurred due to “gross negligence and reckless conduct” on the manufacturer’s part.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that Órla’s death occurred due to the gross negligence and reckless conduct of the manufacturer and or sellers who failed to properly identify the contents of the cookie on the packaging,” Adimey said. “This failure in proper disclosure has led to this devastating yet preventable outcome.”
According to the New York Post, this tragic incident led to the recall of Vanilla and Chocolate Florentine Cookies that were sold only at the local supermarket chain in Danbury and Newington from Nov. 6 to Dec. 31, 2023.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has warned that anyone who purchased the cookies and has a peanut allergy is advised to toss the product immediately. The supermarket also added that customers can return the cookies at any of their locations for a full refund.