The highly contagious avian flu is forcing US farmers to cull millions of egg-laying hens, reducing egg supplies and raising prices.
According to the USDA's daily Midwest regional egg report, retailers paid $2.80 to $2.89 for a dozen large grade A white eggs on Thursday.
Earnest noted that the Midwest prices serve as a national benchmark for large white eggs.
During peak demand periods like Easter, these prices can drop to around $2, he said
The flu is "primarily an animal health issue," the CDC says, adding that "the risk to the general public's health from current H5N1 bird flu viruses is low."