Ballet dancer dies after eating mislabelled cookie

todayJanuary 26, 2024 5

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Ballet dancer dies after eating mislabelled cookie

A ballet dancer from East Lancashire has died in the US after eating a cookie that did not list peanuts as an ingredient.

Orla Baxendale, 25, suffered severe anaphylactic shock on 11 January after a severe allergic reaction to a vanilla florentine cookie from US supermarket chain Stew Leonard’s.

Ms Baxendale, who moved to New York in 2018 to pursue a career as a dancer, had eaten the cookie at a social gathering in Connecticut, state health officials said.


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The biscuit contained peanuts, but did not list the nuts as an ingredient.

Around 500 packages of the cookies that were sold between 6 November and 31 December have now been recalled in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration.

Stew Leonard Jr, the president and chief executive of the retailer, said in a video posted on Wednesday that their supplier Cookies United changed from using soy nuts to peanuts in the recipe without notifying their chief safety officer.

But Cookies United said in a statement that they notified Stew Leonard’s last July that the product contained peanuts and that all products shipped to the retailer had been labelled accordingly.

The supplier said the incorrect label was created by Stew Leonard’s.

Ms Baxendale’s family said in a statement reported by Sky’s US partner network NBC News: “Orla’s family, devastated by this unimaginable loss, wishes to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support and tributes from around the world.

“She was a radiant and brave soul who pursued her dreams relentlessly, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who knew her.”

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Meanwhile, Ms Baxendale’s former dance school said it was “deeply saddened” by her death.

“Orla was born and raised in Manchester, UK and moved to New York in 2018 to join the Ailey family as a scholarship student.

“Since then, she had become an integral part of the New York dance world, pursuing her passion, shining her bright light, and doing what she loved most. She danced with numerous companies and choreographers.

“Her loss will be profoundly felt by her friends, colleagues, and all who knew her.

“We will remember her for her joyful spirit and boundless talent. Our thoughts are with her family at this devastating time.”

Written by: Newsroom

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