The severe drought in California could have a lasting effect on U.S. fruit, dairy and egg prices, while prices for meats, especially beef, look likely to continue climbing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday. The agency said overall U.S. food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014. That is up from 2013, when retail food prices were almost flat, but in line with historical norms. “The food-at-home consumer price index (CPI) has already increased more in the first four months of 2014 then it did in all of 2013,” USDA said. More