If Avian flu returns, egg prices could increase to $6

If Avian Flu Returns, Egg Prices Could Increase to $6

A carton of a dozen eggs is about to cost you a whole lot more than it used to. Maybe as much as $6, according to one market analyst.

Over the last few months, the price of eggs has been rising after an avian flu outbreak hit the U.S. poultry population.

Because of the outbreak, a Department of Agriculture analyst told The New York Times back in June that the country's egg production would decrease by about 4 percent this year. That's about 341 million fewer 12-packs of eggs.

Between May and June of this year, the average price for a dozen large, grade A eggs increased by more than 76 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

See photos of the egg crisis:

Restaurant handles rising egg prices
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If Avian flu returns, egg prices could increase to $6

Now, consumers don't have to worry about paying more than $6 for a carton of eggs right this moment. But it is a figure we could see further down the road.

An analyst told NBC he's predicting that $6 cost if the avian flu returns sometime this year. "It's almost scary to think about what could happen to egg prices," he said.

Consumers should know they can't contract the virus from eggs, so long as they're properly cooked and cooking utensils are cleaned to avoid cross-contamination.

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