Sriracha Irwindale Gets Odor Complaints


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Who doesn't like hot sauce? Take an ordinary dish, and add some Sriracha hot sauce (considered by many to be the world's best) and suddenly the dish will not taste ordinary anymore.

However, liking the taste of something and liking the smell of something is not necessarily the same.

An Irwindale plant where the famous hot sauce (that uses sun ripen chilies) is made was recently the cause of multiple odor-related complaints, eleven complaints to be precise. These complaints have all been reported since October 21st with one being placed on Tuesday and four on Saturday. Some have even claimed that the pepper condiment is like a form of mace.

Irwindale City Manager John Davidson says that he can smell the odor from City Hall. "It's pretty strong," he said.

Inspections were completed twice in the vicinity of Huy Fong Foods to check for lingering unpleasant odors. According to Sam Atwood of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), these inspections were not fruitful.

“On both occasions, they could not detect any odor,” Atwood said before explaining that several factors can influence odors such as the weather.

“We will continue to take a look at that facility. We can do odor surveillance, and go out regardless of whether there’s a complaint or not, and just have an inspector drive around the area,” said Sam Atwood of AQMD.


So, is this an open-and-shut case where the company can return to doing what it does best -- making tasty hot sauce if not completely fragrant hot sauce -- while not being diverted from outside inquiries? No, this situation gets even trickier.

Reports originally claimed that these complaints had not procured any specific legal actions against Huy Fong Foods. However, according to the Los Angeles Times, "Irwindale filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday," citing the sauce as a public nuisance. Apparently, sauces can be considered nuisances. Who would have thought?

In the event that the company suffers as a result of the action, consumers of the popular condiment may find themselves paying higher prices.

According to David Tran, who is the chief executive of Huy Fong Foods, "If the city shuts us down, the price of Sriracha will jump up a lot."

Could it be that the smell just takes some adjusting? Employee Sergio Garcia said, "It's not so bad. You get used to it."

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]