It could be time to start stockpiling Sriracha. The only factory in the country that makes the spicy sauce is in danger of being shut down. A Los Angeles judge has ruled that the Irwindale, California based Huy Fong Foods factory must stop any operations that could be causing the ire of its neighbors, who say that spicy smells coming from the plant have given them watery eyes, heartburn, asthma, and nosebleeds. While the judge says there’s a “lack of credible evidence” that the plant is directly causing the health problems, it’s suspected that the company’s recent harvest and grinding of Jalapeno peppers is contributing to the neighborhood’s complaints. Judge Robert H. O’Brien says that it can be “reasonably inferred” that the spicy smell is emanating from the plant, and that the smell is “extremely annoying, irritating, and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance.” The judge asks that the plant take action to reduce the smell, though it’s not really clear what action that should be, or how the city will enforce the request.
Huy Fong says that it’s done with the grinding for now, as the harvest season has ended, so there’s no reason for the plant to shut down entirely. The company only grinds peppers for three months of the year, but bottles sauce continually. It’s not known how the injunction will affect production and distribution of the sauce.