That delightful but spicy hot sauce, Sriracha made by Huy Fong Foods has been ordered to shut down temporarily due to complaints by nearby neighbors stating the spicy smells are irritating their eyes and noses and throats. The court ordered the chili sauce makers to "cool it" until they address the issues.
According to Huy Fong Foods, the odors are only produced during pepper-grinding season, which extends from August until late October or early November.
The Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale is suing the company for filling its air with spicy odors that residents say make their eyes burn and take their breath away.
But people all over the country are in uproar - this special sauce has become a staple in many restaurants and venues.
"It's a disaster," Damon Chu, president of Giant Union Co., "We've done business with them for 20 years and we've never had this kind of thing before. We get shipments every 2-5 days and we never had any doubt of them saying they don't' have it so we don't store that much."
Damon Chu claims his company could lose about $300,000 in sales. His company buys up to $150,000 worth of Huy Fong Food products each month.
Huy Fong Foods, the producer of the hot sauce in their Southern California based store, is also under a 30-day shipping restraint. Talk about a double whammy and a difficult blow to theirs and other businesses that rely on their products.
"In a statement given to CBS, Los Angeles, the California Department of Public Health said, in part, 'a hold time was necessary to ensure an effective treatment of micro-organisms present in the [Huy Fong Foods] product. Holding products for a period of time at a specified pH level is one method of controlling those micro-organisms.' "
Huy Fong Foods began following those guidelines this week, operations manager Donna Lam told the Los Angeles Times. That means the latest batch of sauces won’t arrive in stores and restaurants until mid-January.
Health Department official, Anita Gore explained, “Holding products for a period of time at a specified pH level is one method of controlling those microorganisms," She added that "Huy Fong got the order after state officials reviewed the way its sauces are produced. Companies using similar methods face the same requirements."
Now there's concern about a sauce shortage. People love their chili sauce and according to many - it's magic.
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