Food News

Sriracha Plant Shut Down Due to Offensive Odors

Sriracha is known for its bold flavor, but apparently the fumes coming from the sauce is enough to get residents living near a sriracha plant ill -- causing a Superior Court order to have the factory partially shut down.

According to the Los Angeles Times, The city of Irwindale, California sued Huy Fong Foods on Oct. 21 after neighbors complained of "heartburn, inflamed asthma and even nosebleeds that they said were caused by the spicy odor coming from the hot sauce plant". Irwindale is a small city of less than 1,500 residents, located in Los Angeles county.

See also: Sriracha Stuff: Ten Rooster-Sauce-Themed Gifts for the Spice Lover in Your Life

It was almost shut down in October, but the jude ruled against such a move at the time.

See also: Looming Sriracha Shortage? Judge Could Shut Down Factory

In the most recent ruling, Judge Robert H. O'Brien ordered the hot sauce maker to cease any kind of operations that could be causing the odors, and that although there was a "lack of credible evidence" linking the health problems to the plant, the smells appear to be "extremely annoying, irritating, and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance."

The company can still operate at some capacity, and the types of actions required to mitigate the offensive odors are not specified.

According to their company website, Huy Vong Foods

started making hot sauces in 1980 in Los Angeles, based on recipes from the owner's native country of Vietnam. In 1986, the company expanded into a 68,000 square foot production facility where "the company has continued to increase production every year, but still never never being able to keep up with demand [sic]" The company produces up to 200,000 bottles of the pungent condiment each day.

If demand is as great as the company says, there might be a sriracha shortage in the future so stock up on a few bottles of "rooster sauce", just in case.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss