It looks like a national Sriracha crisis has been avoided, for now. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge denied the city of Irwindale’s request to shut down production of Sriracha over complaints that the odor emanating from the factory was causing burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches.
“You’re asking for a very radical order on a 24-hour notice. You probably should have come in earlier,” Judge Robert H. O’Brien told attorney June Ailin, who represents the city.
O’Brien’s ruling enables the plant to finish processing the peppers they’ll need for the following year’s hot sauce supply, with just over a week left in the harvesting period. However, despite the city’s request for a temporary restraining order being denied, another hearing for November 22 is scheduled to determine whether a shut down is needed to fix the alleged odor issues.
When the city contacted the company about the smell last year, CEO and founder David Tran of Huy Fong Foods said active carbon filters were installed in the factory, in addition to an extra layer installed later. Initial reports from air quality inspectors detected no smell 20 feet from the exhaust system, with a mild chile odor — rated 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 — found in the factory’s lobby. As for the nearby streets surrounding the factory, no smell was detected.
Still, as Tran told the LA Times, the chiles pack a punch for a reason and “if it doesn’t smell, we can’t sell.” You’ve got to admit, the man’s got a point.
H/T LA Times