Retail food prices in Northern Virginia dropped .5 percent from August to September, according to a Market Basket survey conducted by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

The Market Basket includes 71 items priced during the same period each month at selected stores throughout the area.

In Northern Virginia, 38 items increased in price, 30 decreased in price, two were unchanged and one was not available.

Price increases for meats included: veal cutlets, up 31.4 cents per pound; frozen perch, up 14.2 cents a pound; frozen haddock, up 11.6 cents per pound; tuna, up 12.5 cents per 6 1/2-ounce can; bacon, up 11.4 cents per pound; frankfurters, up 10.2 cents per pound; salmon, up 6.7 cents per pound can, and pork sausage, up 5.7 cents per pound.

Among declines in meat prices were round steak, on special, down 30.5 cents per pound; pork chops, down 15.9 cents per pound; chuck roast, down 11.8 cents per pound; canned ham and rib roast, both down 5.9 cents per pound; and fryers, down 5.2 cents per pound.

At the fresh fruit and vegetable counter green beans were up 5.5 cents per pound, while several other items dropped in price. Among price decreases were white potatoes, down 26.1 cents per 10 pounds; oranges, down 17 cents per dozen; onions, down 7.8 cents per pound; carrots, down 7 cents per pound, and apples, down 6.3 cents per pound.

Other price increases included eggs, up 12.7 cents per dozen; cola drink, up 11.3 cents per eight 16-ounce bottles; flour, up 11.2 cents per five pounds; tea, up 9 cents per 48 bags; and vanilla cookies, up 8.9 cents per 12-ounce box.

Other price decreases included ice cream, down 11.5 cents per one-half gallon, and instant coffee, down 5.9 cents per six-ounce jar.