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Sriracha Shutdown: California Town Shuts Down Hot Sauce Factory

By 04.10.14

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If you’re at all like me, Sriracha hot sauce isn’t just a condiment to be used towards the betterment of pizza, eggs, and burritos. It’s a way of life. Sadly enough, though, the actual manufacturing of said hot sauce – particularly, Huy Fong Foods Inc. brand, which is the only kind to really be aware of – is kind of a burden on the community. So much so that Irwindale – the California town housing the Hoy Fun plant – is taking legal action against the company.

This saga has actually been going on for a while now. Back in January, the Los Angeles Times reported a lawsuit filed against the plant on behalf of the city. The suit claimed that Hoy Fun failed to uphold their end of the bargain when planting their flag in Irwindale, their end of the bargain being “not making the entire town uninhabitable”:

“The city of Irwindale will broaden its lawsuit against the makers of Sriracha hot sauce, adding a breach-of-contract claim to its current complaint, an attorney announced Friday.

“After multiple residents began to complain about a spicy odor coming from the sauce maker’s factory in Irwindale last year, the city filed suit against Huy Fong Foods, claiming the smell was a public nuisance. The city wants a permanent injunction on the factory’s operations, and both parties are currently negotiating over what smell-abatement technology to install.”

The lawsuit won’t begin until November, which means that those mustard gas conditions are still looming. Enter the Irwindale City Council, which is expected to pass a bill declaring the Sriracha smell a public nuisance. Per The Times:

“Once the council adopts an expected official resolution at its next meeting, hot sauce maker Huy Fong Foods will have about 90 days to mitigate the odor, which residents say burns their eyes and throats at certain times of day.

“The 4-0 vote during a Wednesday night hearing came despite assurances from company attorney John Tate that Huy Fong Foods planned to submit an action plan within 10 days and have the smell fixed by June 1.”

Last I checked (and I check a lot), Huy Fung Sriracha was still readily available in grocery stores, even as the hot sauce’s creepily devoted, cult-like following discusses doomsday-like Sriracha shortages. All I know is this: it seems far likelier that someone finds a way to save such a profitable brand name than it is to picture myself telling my grandchildren rocking chair stories of the most magical condiment on the planet, and the community it destroyed. Stay tuned.

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TAGSEDUTAINMENTFoodiesHuy Fong FoodsSMOKE BREAKSriracha

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