The news that Irwindale has declared Sriracha hot sauce a public nuisance has set the Internet aflame, but a shortage is unlikely.
Irwindale is expected to adopt a resolution labeling the smell of Sriracha production a public nuisance and declaring the company in violation of its development agreement.
The resolution is expected to give Huy Fong Foods 90 days to fix the problem, according to city officials.
But the company says it can fix the smell problem by June 1, which is well before that deadline.
Additionally, if Huy Fong Foods fails to meet the city’s deadline, that doesn’t necessarily mean the factory would be shut down. The resolution would allow city officials to enter the factory, make the changes themselves and assess the costs to the company.
Before this happens, Huy Fong Foods has the option to seek a restraining order from a judge to stop the city’s action. Even if something prevents the factory from grinding peppers this August when the season starts, sauce production can still continue.
At Huy Fong Food’s factory in Irwindale, rows and rows of sealed blue plastic barrels fill a warehouse so large it is traversed by golf cart. The barrels hold enough ground-up peppers and sauce base for about 18 months.
Huy Fong Foods also sells its hot sauce to several large regional distributors, and many of them have their own inventories of the hot sauce as buffers against a shortage.