Judge Squashes Move to Shut Sriracha Plant

Chili sauce fans, rejoice; Irwindale residents, get used to those fumes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 31, 2013 12:16 PM CDT
Judge Squashes Move to Shut Sriracha Plant
In this Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 photo, chili peppers are loaded onto a conveyer belt for making of Sriracha chili sauce at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif.   (Nick Ut)

Sriracha sauce may have inspired its own cult-like following, but neighbors of its Southern California factory are decidedly not fans: Now, a judge has denied Irwindale's attempt to shut down production of the popular chili sauce over the pungent pepper and garlic fumes emanating from the Huy Fong Foods plant. The sprawling 650,000-square-foot factory processes some 100 million pounds of peppers a year into Sriracha and two other popular Asian food sauces.

Residents have complained the odor gives them headaches, burns their throat, and makes their eyes water. Huy Fong executives say they've been cooperating with the city to reduce the smell, but balked at the city's suggestion of putting in a new, $600,000 filtration system. The company said it was looking into other alternatives when the city sued. (More Sriracha stories.)

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