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Neighbors Want Sriracha Hot Sauce Factory Shut Down Over 'Strong, Offensive Odor' [UPDATED]
Trendy Sriracha hot sauce is not so popular with the folks living right next to the factory that makes the fiery stuff.
The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking a judge to stop production at the Huy Fong Foods factory, because of the "public nuisance" of the "strong, offensive chili odor."
According to the complaint, residents began complaining to the city last month about the overwhelming chili smell from the 600,000-square-food facility, City News Service reports.
"The odors are so strong and offensive as to have caused residents to move outdoor activities indoors and even to vacate their residences temporarily to seek relief from the odors,'' the suit says.
The city staff met with Huy Fong Foods officials on Oct. 1 and the company reps said they would "do everything possible to abate the odors.''
But two weeks later, the company changed its tune, saying that no odor problem existed.
Irwindale City Atty. Fred Galante told the LA Times that a company official said their employees work with the chili odor all day and don't complain, so it's a non-issue.
The city is asking a judge to stop production at the factory until the company submits a plan of action for reducing the chili odor, Galante said.
"If they fix it and the odor problems stop, we don't need this order; but so far the odor complaints continue," Galante told the Times. He said about 30 residents have filed or signed complaints with the city about the hot sauce befouling their air.
The company used to be based in Rosemead and opened a large factory in Irwindale this year.
UPDATED, OCTOBER 31, 9:48 a.m.: Sorry, Irwindale residents: A judge has denied the city's request for a temporary restraining order that would have shut down Sriracha sauce-maker Huy Fong Foods Inc. until they resolved the chile odor that has reportedly caused stinging eyes and headaches in those who live near the plant.
"You're asking for a very radical order on 24-hour notice,'' Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O'Brien told attorney June Ailin, who is representing the city of Irwindale, according to City News Service.
It's not over yet, as both sides will be back in court on November 22.