The number of E. coli cases in St. Louis climbs to 26 as health officials continue to follow up with interviews and testing, both on food samples and those who have become sick.

The Department of Health says it’s testing food samples from five Schnuck’s salad bars as a result of those patient interviews.  The department has taken a total of 51 specimens.

The food samples on which testing began today include: Bistro Salad Dressing, broccoli florets, deviled eggs, diced hard boiled eggs, honey Dijon dressing, Italian dressing, pineapple chunks, red wine vinaigrette, shredded carrots, shredded radishes, shredded zucchini, sliced red onions, and the following packaged salads that included salad bar ingredients: Bistro Chopped Salad, Fresco House Salad, Fried Chicken Salad, Garden Salad, Italian Salad, and Turkey Cobb Salad. Additional food samples are being collected and tested as the investigation continues.

Today, inspectors from the FDA arrived in St. Louis to assist in the inspection of facilities that may have been part of the distribution chain.

Anyone experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea or nausea, is urged to seek medical attention.

Health officials remind everyone to reduce the threat of food-borne illnesses: always wash all produce thoroughly with water before eating, cook meat thoroughly, and always wash their hands after using the restroom.