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Hot sauce processor declared a ‘public nuisance’

By Jenni Spinner+

12-Apr-2014

Huy Fong Foods, the maker of the popular sriracha hot sauce, has been declared a
Huy Fong Foods, the maker of the popular sriracha hot sauce, has been declared a "public nuisance" by the City of Irwindale, California.

The embattled producer of sriracha, a popular hot sauce, has 90 days to contain fumes emitted by its processing plant, or the city could shut the operation down.

Huy Fong Foods, the company best known for producing the red chili-garlic sauce known as sriracha, has been declared a “public nuisance” by the Irwindale City Council. The action gives the company 90 days to contain the fumes or it could take more drastic action, including shutting down the facility.

Litigation history

Huy Fong Foods opened its Irwindale, California, plant two years ago. In October, the city filed suit against the facility, claiming citizens suffered from irritated eyes and lungs from peppery fumes emitted by the plant.

In November, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge piled onto the litigation, ruling the company was not taking drastic enough action to contain the noxious fumes. John Tate, the attorney for Huy Fong Foods, reported the company has been working on abatement strategies (including a filtration system) but resident complaints have continued.

Possible shutdown

Irwindale city attorney Fred Galante told FoodProductionDaily if Huy Fong Foods does not comply with the injunction, shutdown could be imminent.

The operator will have to cease activities that cause the strong odors until it installs the necessary equipment or system to address the odors,” he said.

Representatives from Huy Fong Foods could not be reached for comment. The producer was founded more than three decades ago by owner David Tran.

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