25-year-old woman dies due to incorrect cake labeling

25-year-old woman dies due to incorrect cake labeling

Órla Baxendale, a 25-year-old dancer, died after eating a cake whose label did not indicate the presence of peanuts. The allergic girl died following anaphylactic shock.

This is a tragedy that could have been avoided. Órla Baxendale, a professional dancer, died after eating a cookie containing peanuts… an ingredient she was allergic to and which was not mentioned on the packaging.

Deadly cookies

It was during an evening with friends that Órla Baxendale decided to eat some cakes from the Stew Leonard’s brand.

Biscuits, seemingly ordinary but which contained a poisonous ingredient for the young woman: peanuts. However, due to the product’s packaging – which had been incorrectly labeled – Órla Baxendale was not suspicious of the cookies.

Her body couldn’t handle it and she quickly succumbed to an acute generalized allergic reaction: anaphylaxis.

However, according to her family, she had an Epipen (an adrenaline auto-injector intended for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions) which proved ineffective that evening.

“It is incomprehensible that allergies can still kill in 2024″said Orla Baxendale’s family in a statement cited by Sky News, before adding: “We urge everyone to educate themselves and those around them about anaphylaxis, the use of EpiPens and warning signs of serious allergic reactions.”

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Whose fault is it ?

The cookie ingested by the young woman was marketed by the Stew Leonard’s brand. The manufacturer, for its part, is an American company called Cookies United.

The problem ? Everyone believes that the other is at fault in this tragedy.

According to Sky News, the president of the brand assures that the manufacturer has modified the recipe “without notifying his security manager.”.

Which Cookies United denies altogether. In a press release, he confided that he had indeed informed Stew Leonard’s of the recipe change and labeled all the products shipped. Since this affair, 500 packages of cakes have been recalled by the company.

Occasionally, certain product recalls mention allergens not mentioned. For allergy sufferers, these labeling errors can unfortunately be dramatic.

Anaphylactic shock: what treatment?

Anaphylactic shock is a severe, disproportionate allergic reaction that can lead to the death of the affected person due to respiratory or cardiac arrest. Anaphylactic shock is not the only severe anaphylactic reaction: laryngeal edema (or Quincke’s edema), which leads to asphyxia, and severe acute asthma are also part of it.

Approximately 1% of allergies result in severe anaphylaxis and the same proportion of severe anaphylaxis causes death. In Europe, the risk of mortality from anaphylactic shock is estimated at 1 to 5 per million inhabitants.

In the event of a severe reaction (hypotension, dyspnea), at the first symptoms, emergency services should be immediately notified – 15 (Samu), 18 (fire brigade) or 112 (European emergency number).

At the same time, adrenaline must be injected intramuscularly into the patient. This comes in the form of a so-called auto-injector pen. The patient may subsequently receive corticosteroids and antihistamines to possibly reduce the symptoms.

Prevention is better than cure“warns Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.”It is essential after a serious allergic reaction to consult an allergist to identify all the allergens in question and to be able to eliminate them from your diet in this case. Beware of labels and in particular abroad when you do not master the language; in emergency rooms, anaphylactic reactions often occur in tourists for this reason“.

Anaphylactic attack: when to use the auto-injectable pen?

Signs suggestive of severe anaphylactic reaction and requiring the use of self-injecting adrenaline pen:

  • The victim’s voice changes;
  • She has breathing difficulties;
  • She complains of stomach pain, she vomits;
  • She scratches her hands, her feet, her head;
  • She feels bad, is unwell.

Signs suggestive of mild anaphylactic reactionrequiring the use of a antihistamine:

  • The victim has a stinging, itchy mouth;
  • His lips swell;
  • Red patches appear, itchy;
  • She complains of stomach aches;
  • More she can still speak and breathe