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Irwindale declares Sriracha factory a public nuisance

The Irwindale City Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to declare the Huy Fong Foods Sriracha factory, makers of the popular hot sauce with the rooster on the label, a public nuisance.

The hot sauce maker has been battling the city since Irwindale filed a lawsuit in October, after numerous residents complained of sore throats, nosebleeds, burning eyes and other health conditions claimed to have been caused by the chile odor from the plant. 

Huy Fong Foods was in the process of submitting an action plan within 10 days to have the smell taken care of by June 1, reported The Times' Frank Shyong, but it was too late.  

If, during its next meeting, the City Council does not grant the company 90 days to fix the odor, the city will be able to go in and make the necessary changes to fix the problem itself and serve Huy Fong Foods the bill.

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The City Council had decided to hold off on the decision to declare the factory a public nuisance in February, to give the company time to work with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to find a solution. 

Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran, who has been making Sriracha for 33 years, has invited the public to see the factory and smell the chiles for themselves with free tours.

A judge ordered the partial shutdown of the 655,000-square-foot-factory in November. Results of tests run by SCAQMD have not been released, but Shyong reported SCAQMD officials indicated the odor could be fixed with active carbon filters. 

A trial in a lawsuit Irwindale filed against Huy Fong Foods in Los Angeles Supuerior Court, claiming that the chile odor is a public nuisance, is set for November.

Want more fiery food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_


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