Eggs have always been a very affordable and nutritious part of many meals. They are well know for their contributions to the breakfast table. Many of our favorite South Louisiana recipes call for eggs either in them or on them.  Chances are if you've purchased eggs over the past week or so you've noticed the rather distinct price increase.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner and Chairman of the Louisiana Egg Commission Dr. Mike Strain says the avian flu is the reason for the rise in price.

We've seen egg prices that went from $1.89 up to $3.19 in some areas, I think the national average is around $2.80 in many different markets.

Strain made his comments to the Louisiana Radio Network. In the same story he went on to say that consumers were not the only ones that have been hit by the avian flu. Many egg producers have been decimated by this disease.

80 percent of the birds affected were egg laying hens. We've lost more than 10 percent of our egg laying hens in the United States.

Strain suggested that while there have been no new cases of avian flu reported since late June there is still major cause for concern among producers. As these farms go about the business of sterilizing and cleaning their facilities there will still be the possibility of the virus being reintroduced to a farm via wild birds.

A lot of what we're working on now is bio-security. We're trying to stop from having another outbreak of avian influenza.

Until the time when U.S. egg producers can certify that their flocks are free of these highly contagious and deadly disease egg prices will remain in a state of flux. The good news is that egg prices will eventually come down to near where they once were. The bad news is we don't know exactly when that will occur.