25-year-old woman found dead after eating mislabeled cookies from supermarket
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Featured Image Credit: orla_baxendale/Instagram/Connecticut Department of Public Health
A 25-year-old woman was tragically found dead after eating mislabeled cookies from a supermarket.
Órla Baxendale, who hailed from Manchester before becoming a professional dancer in New York, devastatingly died after she ate an incorrectly labelled cookie containing peanuts which was being sold at a popular supermarket.
The dancer went into anaphylactic shock following her severe allergic reaction after eating a Vanilla Florentine cookie earlier this month (11 January).
Her attorney, Marijo Adimey, has since issued a statement just yesterday Wednesday (24 January).
It read: "Órla’s passing 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.
"This tragic oversight has led to the recall of the Vanilla Florentine Cookies from Stew Leonard’s stores in Danbury and Newington, CT, for the period of November 6 – December 31, 2023."
Adimey added that a preliminary investigation 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'.
"This failure in proper disclosure has led to this devastating yet preventable outcome," he added.
Stew Leonard released a video statement about the incident, declaring it a 'sad day' for him and his family.
"Unfortunately, the supplier changed the recipe and started going from soy nuts to peanuts, and our chief safety officer here at Stew Leonard's was never notified. We have a very rigorous process that we use, as far as labelling. We take labels very seriously, especially peanuts, and our chief safety officer never was notified. We didn't change the label," Leonard said.
"We're just all devastated, very sad. I have four daughters... I can imagine how that family feels right now, and we're all just very, very sad about this whole thing."
Cookies United has since shared with Tyla an official statement on the matter.
It reads: "It has come to the attention of Cookies United that a customer of Stew Leonard’s has tragically died as a result of eating cookies containing peanuts. Our hearts and condolences are first with the family of this Stew Leonard’s customer.
"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.
"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 statement continues: "In the 24 hours since Cookies United learned of this tragedy we have been cooperating with the New York State Department of Agriculture and have been informed we are in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations relating to this product.
"Our deepest sympathies to the family of this Stew Leonard’s customer."
Tyla has also attempted to reach out to representatives from Stew Leonard's for comment.