Sriracha Smell Designated a 'Public Nuisance'

By the city council of Irwindale, California
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2014 9:01 AM CDT
Sriracha Smell Designated a 'Public Nuisance'
In this Oct 29, 2013 file photo, Sriracha chili sauce bottles are produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

A trial is already set between a Los Angeles suburb and the maker of Sriracha hot sauce after a judge ruled that the smell wafting from the company's Irwindale plant was "offensive to the senses"—but the town isn't stopping there. The Irwindale City Council yesterday unanimously voted to declare Huy Fong Foods' spicy odor a public nuisance, the Los Angeles Times reports; the measure will put in place a 90-day window during which the company must make changes designed to wipe out the odor. The measure also gives city officials the authority to move in and fix the issue itself, on Huy Fong Foods' dime.

Huy Fong Foods has said it will submit an action plan within 10 days and have the smell—which some residents blamed for their nosebleeds, asthma, and other ailments—fixed by June. But "the city council is determined to assert its authority regardless of the status of the odor remediation efforts," a lawyer for Huy Fong Foods said, adding the Sriracha maker has been working on its filtration system with the South Coast Air Quality Management District; the plant may turn to active carbon filters. Fox News reports AQMD's data shows the bulk of complaints came from just four households in the town of 1,400. (Read more Sriracha stories.)

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