Egg prices in the US may hit new highs this winter, as the industry remains shell-shocked from the worst bout of Avian flu ever recorded earlier this year.
A report from Moody's Investor Service warns another case of Avian flu may hit egg-laying flocks of hens, placing more pressure on an already scarce resource.
Prices rose to $2.97 a dozen for Grade A eggs after the most recent bird-flu outbreak in America, up from $1.97 the year before, and Moody's says prices could climb even more, to record levels, in the event of another outbreak, as fowl carrying the virus migrate back south in the winter spreading the virus.
However, Moody's says heightened bio-security measures developed since the last outbreak may help protect farms to a greater extent.
Higher egg prices will also hit food chains, Moody's added, such as McDonald's which recently announced it would serve its breakfast muffin all day for the first time.
Some 50 million birds were killed in the most recent bird flu epidemic, half of them in Iowa alone, which is the US' main egg-producing state.
The US egg industry is particularly vulnerable because it is so highly concentrated, with five states accounting for around 44 per cent of all egg-laying hen flocks, according to trade group United Egg Producers.
US farms produced a cracking 99.8bn eggs last year according to data from the US Department of Agriculture.