I thought the Sriracha saga was over. I was wrong. First, the city of Irwindale, Calif., told the Huy Fong Foods factory it had to stop making the sauce because the fumes from processing the chile peppers for the sauce were irritating residents' eyes and throats. A judge stepped in and said they could continue operations until a hearing was held. Then the California Department of Public Health imposed a 30-day shipping hold on the company’s products.
All of that seemed resolved by the end of last year, but now, the Irwindale City Council has declared the Sriracha smell a public nuisance. The city isn’t trying to get rid of the factory, it just wants Huy Fong Foods to resolve the odor and fume problems that irritate some of the residents in the city.
A Huy Fong Foods lawyer said the company planned to submit an action plan to fix the problem within 10 days and have the smell problem fixed by June 1, but the city council still chose to take a vote and publically declare the smell of Sriracha hot sauce a public nuisance.
How can the problem be fixed? Officials with the South Coast Air Quality Management District say “the smell issues could be resolved with active carbon filters.” If the factory does not fix the problem, the council reserves the right to go in and make the changes, at Huy Fong Foods' expense.
So the saga continues. Perhaps we should sit back with some Popcorn Indiana Sriracha Popcorn (I have some in my snack cabinet right this very moment) and watch how the whole thing plays out.
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- Air pollution linked to 2 million deaths worldwide
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