Maria Altman| St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on Oct. 27, to include contract vote approval - Schnucks union employees approved a new contract Wednesday night, avoiding a potential strike.

The members of the UFCW Local 655 voted 1,020 to 507 in favor of the three year agreement.

The original contract expired in May. Union members rejected a previous version in September. The union recommended a yes vote to the membership before last night’s decision.

In a statement emailed to St. Louis Public Radio, UFCW Local 655 President David Cook said, “Schnucks management listened to our concerns and worked with us to provide a significantly revised agreement that our membership supported with tonight’s vote. Our members deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices with a fair contract. The significant concessions from Schnucks show they understood that and came back to the table with a much better contract.”

Saturday evening at a Schnucks in Des Peres.
Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio

The retail grocery industry in the St. Louis region and throughout the country is more competitive than ever.

Local chains that have been around for decades are adapting to customer expectations as they face increasing pressure from big-name national stores and even discount outlets.

UFCW Local 655

Union workers at area Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Shop'n Save ratified a three-year contract with the supermarkets late Wednesday night. Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 voted 1,641 to 662 to approve the contract at the Family Arena in St. Charles following a meeting of employees from the three companies.

The contract, which covers roughly 9,000 members working at 104 stores and pharmacies in the area, allows for a $0.60 wage increase over the life of the contract and includes no overall reduction in benefits.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The Food and Drug Administration has a plan in the works that may affect your appetite. It wants to ban partially hydrogenated oils -- the major source of artificial trans fats in the U. S. food supply.

How will that impact St. Louis area bakeries, donut shops and grocery stores?

Like many mom-and-pop donut shops in St. Louis, the Donut Stop in Lemay fries with partially hydrogenated shortening – good for glaze retention, shelf life, and mouth feel.

(via Flickr/daysofthundr46)

Schnuck Markets says more than two million customers in the St. Louis area may have been impacted by a data breach that stretched from December 2012 until March 29.

The company said in a statement today that the cyber-attack possibly affected 79 of its 100 stores. Officials emphasized that the hackers only accessed the credit card numbers and expirations dates of victims - not their names, addresses or any identifying information.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

Many customers of the Schnucks grocery chain are upset about the credit card fraud that has victimized dozens of people. Investigators told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they continue to receive complaints from Schnucks customers.

It still isn't clear how the security breach occurred. For now, investigators are telling people who shop at Schnucks to pay with cash or checks.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that romaine lettuce was the source of the E. coli outbreak that sickened a total of 60 people in ten states earlier this fall.

Thirty-seven of those infected were in Missouri.

On its website, the CDC says the lettuce came from salad bars from a single grocery store chain but did not report the name of the chain. Schnucks management has confirmed that it is the chain in question.

(Via Wikimedia Commons/Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU)

Updated 4:35 p.m. with new information

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says there is no confirmed link between produce from Schnucks grocery stores and the current E. coli outbreak in Missouri.

In a written statement, the state health department said that only 17 of the 26 people sickened reported having eaten anything from a Schnucks salad bar. The other nine did not.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

County confirms salad bars at Schnucks focus of E. coli investigation

St. Louis County officials have acknowledged that salad bars at Schnucks are the main focus of an investigation into an E. coli outbreak.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

The St. Louis region's largest grocery chain is removing some items from its salad bar amid concerns about E. coli, even though investigators still don't know the cause of the outbreak.

Health officials say nearly two dozen people have been sickened by the illness in St. Louis city and four surrounding counties.

Investigators from the state of Missouri and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in St. Louis to try and determine the cause.