Retail prices in Northern Virginia for the Market Basket," a fixed quantity of food surveyed each month by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, rose by 3 percent in November over October. This month's prices are all percent higher than prices in November a year ago. The Market Basket includes 40 of the 72 items priced each month at selected stores in the Northern Virginia increase, prices in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth area dropped by 2.5 percent in November from October and by 2.3 percent in the Richmond area for the same period. The price increases in the two areas this November over November 1977 were 7.7 percent respectively.

Shoppers in Northern Virginia paid higher prices this month for 46 items surveyed. Twenty items dropped in price, the costs of five items were unchanged and one was not available.

The cost of most meats, especially pork, increased . Frankfurters were up 20.4 cents per pound, whole ham up 16.2 cents per pound, pork chops 9.8 cents per pound, chuck roast 9.5 cents per pound, canned ham 8.5 cents per pound, round steak 8.3 cents per pound are pork sausage 6.7 cents per pound. The lone exception was bacon, which dropped 14.2 cents per pound in cost.

In the vegetable category, tomatoes and celery increased 14.6 cents per pound and 10.8 cents per stalk, respectively, while the price of green beans dropped 9.2 cents per pound. The cost of apples increased 9.8 cents per pound.

Oranges showed the greatest change of any item in the survey, with the price dropping more than $1 per dozen. The price of margarine fell 6.8 cents per pound. Other increases showed coffee up 15.1 per one-pound bag, vanilla cookies 9.9 cents per 12-ounce box and frozen orange juice 6.4 cents for a 6-ounce can.