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Odor from Sriracha chili plant a nuisance, Calif. city officials say

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:13 p.m. HST, Oct 29, 2013

LOS ANGELES » The maker of Sriracha hot sauce is under fire for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California factory.

The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking a judge to stop production at the Huy Fong Foods factory, claiming the chili odor emanating from the plant is a public nuisance.

City officials say residents have been complaining of burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches and that some people have had to leave their house to escape the smell.

One family was forced to move a birthday party indoors after the strong smell overwhelmed the festivity, Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante told the Los Angeles Times.

Huy Fong initially cooperated with the city, but talks broke down last week after company representatives denied there was an odor problem, saying their employees worked in similar olfactory settings without complaint, Galante said.

The city, which is about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is seeking temporary closure of the factory until Huy Fong submits a plan to minimize the smell.

"If they fix it and the odor problems stop, we don't need this order; but so far the odor complaints continue," Galante said.

An after-hours call to the company was not immediately returned.

Huy Fong's green-capped chili bottles are hugely popular and are a fixture at restaurants around the world. The first Sriracha Festival held in downtown Los Angeles over the weekend drew hundreds of fans. The condiment's creator, David Tran, was there sporting a T-shirt that said "I put Sriracha on my Sriracha."

The company had operated out of two buildings in nearby Rosemead since the late 1980s until it opened large factory in Irwindale this year.

All of the chili needed for producing the year's sauce is processed and stored between September and December.

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manakuke wrote:
Hot stuff indeed!
on October 29,2013 | 02:26AM
awahana wrote:
A extremely popular condiment.
on October 29,2013 | 04:37AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Same with the Kim Chee eaters who open the Tupperware in the lunchroom at work, which includes my self.
on October 29,2013 | 05:23AM
Maipono wrote:
I would love to smell Siriracha Sauce every day, hey wait, I do smell it every day, at every meal!
on October 29,2013 | 05:34AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Try making chili pepper water in your kitchen and you'll understand.
on October 29,2013 | 07:10AM
jess wrote:
On my way to stock up on Siracha. I cannot live without that stuff.
on October 29,2013 | 07:59AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Representatives of the Tabasco company were spotted making anonymous phone calls from the area.
on October 29,2013 | 09:59AM
kauai wrote:
heh, heh; good one maneki; nice wit, good chuckle....
on October 29,2013 | 10:41AM
primo1 wrote:
Frank's Red Hot sauce mo' bettah...
on October 29,2013 | 10:40AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
It's not just the smell. The capsaicin is coming out of the plant in aerosolized form. Yup...they're basically pepper spraying the entire town. Small price to pay for spicy, roostery goodness if you ask me.
on October 29,2013 | 12:06PM
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