A British ballet dancer with a severe peanut allergy has died in the United States after eating a cake that did not contain nuts listed on its ingredients.
Orla Baxendale, a 25-year-old woman who lives in New York, bought the cake from Stew Leonard's grocery store in Connecticut earlier this month.
Was not aware that Florentine vanilla cookies contain peanuts and there was no mention of nuts on the packaging.
Baxendale was carrying an EpiPen, but it was not enough to combat the severe allergic reaction she suffered after eating the cake, according to a statement issued by her lawyer. She died of anaphylactic shock on January 11.
“Orla was very careful and vigilant about everything she ate, and always carefully checked the ingredients on all packages. Additionally, she always carried an EpiPen with her and surrounded herself with people who knew how to use it.
“After she started having an allergic reaction, an EpiPen was used but due to the severity of her allergy, it was not effective,” he added.
The grocery store has since recalled a batch of Florentine vanilla cookies. In the recall notice, Stew Leonard's said the cookies were produced by Cookies United and sold only at its Danbury and Newington branches.
“The cookies contain undeclared peanuts and eggs. People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts or eggs are at risk of developing a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat these products,” said Megan Bell, director of public relations at Stew Leonard. “One death has been reported that may be related to the mislabeled product.”
Cookies United issued a statement She said the company notified Stew Leonard's in July that the product now contained peanuts.
in The store owner said in a video statement: “It is a sad day for us. We are all devastated and very sad,” he said.
“I have four daughters, one of them is in her 20s. I can imagine how that family is feeling right now, and we are all very, very sad about this whole thing.”
The Independent has contacted Stu Leonard for comment.
Baxendale, originally from East Lancashire, moved to New York from East Lancashire, England to pursue a career in dance.
She was a “brilliant, contemporary and Irish ballerina” who was “the embodiment of enthusiasm, strength and beauty,” her online obituary says.
Her family said they were “devastated by this unimaginable loss.”
Brian Caffirelli, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, called Ms. Baxendale's death a “heartbreaking tragedy.”
He said his government agency is working with local and federal officials as well as other states to try to “prevent a similar tragedy in the future.”
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