Bay leaves are NOT dangerous to eat. It is believed that this myth began because there are leaves that look similar to the bay leaf (mountain laurel and cherry laurel leaves) that are poisonous to humans and animals.
It is recommended that you remove the bay leaf out of your stew after preparation. The purpose of the bay leaf is to simmer in your soup to release added flavor and aroma. However, even after hours of cooking, the bay leaf remains very rigid and stiff.