A drought that has been witnessed over a good part of the country will have the trickling effect of higher food prices early next year. This is according to the U.S Department of Agriculture, which says it expects grocery prices to rise by 3% to 4% next year. Meat and dairy products will perhaps be the worst affected.

Beef is expected to retail at 5% higher, as feeds have become expensive as most of the country’s corn was damaged by the drought. The higher cost of the little corn available and dry grazing lands will mean that farmers will have to pass on these costs to supermarkets, which may in the end, have to do the same to their customers. Products that use the corn or corn products such as high–fructose syrup used in cereals, yogurt and cookies may also face an increase to check the higher cost of ingredients. The USDA puts the expected rise of fruit and vegetables at 2% to 3% higher, dairy products at between 3.5% and 4.5%, poultry and eggs at 3% to 4% and pork at 2.5% to 3.5% higher.

In other grocery industry news, the number of food recalls caused by the possible risk of listeria monocytogenes has been on the rise. Some brand names such as Burch Farms Cottle Strawberry, Cut N Clean, Chef’s Kitchen Copperwood, Dairy Fresh, Finest Traditions, Grandpas, Weis, Spoon River, Golden Corral, Wegmans, Cool Creations and Fiesta Garden Fresh salsa are just some of those that have been recalled as they are suspected to be potentially harmful to consumers. The manufacturer can do food recalls voluntarily or by government authorities if possible allergens, or harmful organisms are suspected, or mislabeling of the food is discovered.