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NYC Dancer Orla Baxendale Dies From Mislabeled Stew Leonard’s Cookie

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NYC Dancer Orla Baxendale Dies From Mislabeled Stew Leonard’s Cookie

A 25-year-old New York City dancer with a severe peanut allergy died earlier this month after eating incorrectly labeled cookies from Stew Leonard’s, a regional chain of grocery stores.

Orla Baxendale, who moved to NYC from England to pursue dance, died on Jan. 11 from anaphylactic shock after eating the cookies, which were not marked as containing peanuts.

Her family’s lawyer, Marijo C. Adimey, called the professional dancer’s death “devastating and preventable” in a statement provided to USA Today.

“Instead of standing up and taking full responsibility as the public would have expected them to [do], Stew Leonard’s is engaging in a public relations media campaign,” he wrote.

The cookie’s manufacturer, Cookies United, said in a statement on Tuesday that they notified the supermarket in July that they would be changing their recipe, and that the supermarket was responsible for repackaging their product.

Stew Leonard Jr. said the company’s chief safety officer was never notified of the recipe change in a video statement released Wednesday.

An obituary for Baxendale described the young woman as being “known for her quirky character and boundless love for those around her.”

“A woman of many talents, Órla’s charisma and vibrant spirit came to life through her work with The Alvin Ailey School, Nemacolin Holiday Village, Steps on Broadway, The Ride, Club Pilates, English with an Accent, MOMIX and many others,” the obituary reads.

“Her passion for dance extended well beyond a single discipline as she was an exquisite ballet, contemporary, and Irish step dancer. Each endeavor she undertook became a testament to her dedication and passion, leaving a lasting impact on many lives.”

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