Florentine cookies at Stew Leonard’s have hidden peanuts, a potential allergen

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Food, Standards, and Product Safety Division (DCP) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health have issued a warning to the public regarding cookies sold at Stew Leonard’s grocery stores in Danbury and Newington that included undeclared peanuts. Stew Leonard’s has issued a recall for their products. A snapshot of the product is provided below.

One death has been reported, which may be linked to the mislabeled goods. The death was initially reported to the FDA. An individual in their 20s from New York was alleged to have consumed the cookies at a social gathering in Connecticut.

Florentine Cookies, with a best-by date of January 5, 2024, are among the cookies recalled. These festive cookies were available in Danbury and Newington from November 6 and December 31, 2023.

Consumers with nut allergies should immediately dispose of the cookies or return them to the point of sale, and seek medical assistance if needed.

Cookies United, a wholesaler in Islip, New York, produced the Florentine Cookies, which were labeled with Stew Leonard’s brand name and sold exclusively in the Danbury and Newington stores.

Out of an abundance of caution, DCP collaborated with Stew Leonard’s to remove all baked goods supplied by Cookies United from all Stew Leonard’s Connecticut locations.

DCP investigators are collaborating with state and local public health officials in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, the Food and Drug Administration, and Stew Leonard’s to establish the cause of the error and whether any other items were contaminated and sold to other retailers.

“This is a heartbreaking tragedy that should never have happened,” stated DCP Commissioner Bryan T. Cafferelli. “DCP Food Investigators are collaborating with the Department of Public Health, local health departments, officials from New York State and New Jersey, the Food and Drug Administration, and Stew Leonard’s to understand how this error occurred and prevent a similar catastrophe in the future. We extend our condolences to the families touched by this catastrophe.”

“It is critical to have accurate labeling so that people with food allergies can adequately protect themselves. I am devastated to read of this occurrence, and I will work with partners to ensure that persons with food allergies are protected. “I cannot overstate the importance of raising food allergy awareness so that an avoidable tragedy like this does not occur again,” stated DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.

“We will continue to work with all our partners — including restaurants and retailers — to provide education on the dangers of food allergens so that best practices are being followed for the safety of the residents of Connecticut.”

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