25-Year-Old Professional Dancer from New York Identified as Victim of Mislabelled Supermarket Cookie Consumption

Órla Baxendale, a 25-year-old professional dancer, was identified as the woman who tragically died from anaphylactic shock on January 11. This devastating incident occurred after she consumed mislabeled Stew Leonard’s cookies.

Baxendale, a talented ballet, contemporary, and Irish step dancer, made the move from the United Kingdom to New York in 2018. The purpose of this move was to pursue her training as a scholarship student at the prestigious Ailey School.

Baxendale was hailed as a figure who embodied enthusiasm, strength, and beauty in her obituary.

She was renowned for her eccentric personality and limitless affection for those in her life, serving as a constant source of joy and inspiration for everyone fortunate enough to know her.

Baxendale tragically passed away after consuming Vanilla Florentine Cookies at a Connecticut event. These cookies were sold by the grocery chain Stew Leonard’s and unfortunately, they did not have proper labeling indicating the presence of peanuts.


There has been a blame game between the Connecticut-based grocery store chain and the manufacturer, Cookie’s United, following the incident.

The manufacturer released a statement on Tuesday, stating that they informed Leonard’s about a recipe change that included peanuts in July 2023. According to the manufacturer, the cookies were labeled accordingly.

In a video statement released on Wednesday, Stew Leonard’s CEO, Stew Leonard Jr., expressed his disappointment, stating that they were never informed about the recipe change before repackaging the cookies.

Bryan T. Cafferelli, the commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection Food, Standards and Product Safety Division, expressed deep sorrow over the tragic incident, emphasizing that it should have been prevented. In a heartfelt statement, he conveyed the sentiment that such a heartbreaking tragedy should never have occurred.

Stew Leonard has recalled the cookies.

“Expressing their gratitude for the overwhelming support and tributes from across the globe, Órla’s family, devastated by this unimaginable tragedy, shared their heartfelt appreciation,” stated a lawyer representing the family, as reported by NBC New York. “Described as a radiant and courageous individual, Órla fearlessly pursued her dreams, leaving an everlasting impact on the lives of those fortunate enough to have known her.”

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