Lifestyle

Sriracha hot sauce factory in California told to take breather

Bottles of Sriracha chili sauce are displayed inside a supermarket in Rosemead, California, on October 31, 2013.
Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN

A spicy red condiment made newly trendy by pop culture may face a threat to its continued production in California: irate neighbors.

A Los Angeles court ruled that Huy Fong Foods, the makers of Sriracha hot sauce, will have to cease any production operations that produce unpleasantly spicy odors — striking terror into the hearts of inveterated pho eaters and spice-heads everywhere.

Residents of the Los Angeles County community complained that the pungent odors from jalapeno pepper processing at the facility had created noxious fumes powerful enough to "irritate their eyes and throats," according to NBC. 

City residents decided to sue Huy Fong to get the problem resolved, and the factory has been ordered to cease any activities that could cause the smells. 

The case may still go to trial, although City Attorney Fred Galante told the Associated Press that he hopes an out-of-court ruling will resolve the matter, and that authorities are "going to try to keep having a conversation" with the sauce makers. 

Huy Fong, for its part, has claimed that the season for processing odiferous jalapeno peppers is now over, and the problem is no longer relevant. The 650,000-square-foot facility has been open for two years, according to KABC. 

Founder David Tran — who is represented on the bottle by the rooster, his Zodiac symbol — seems resolved to fight on. 

"If you don't like my product, what happened with you? Something wrong," Tran told CBS, which was allowed to film inside the usually secretive factory. "We do the fresh one, the best one, the cheapest one."

Earlier in November, Huy Fong said that it would suffer a $10 million loss if forced to stop operations, after a judge initially denied the city request for the order at an Oct. 31 hearing, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Online fans of the spicy red stuff expressed their existential displeasure with the ruling on Twitter (and likely, most everywhere else). 

Though, there were also some creative solutions to Irwindale's spicy problem afoot:

Here's CBS video on the Sriracha controversy.

More from GlobalPost: California city sues Sriracha hot sauce maker 

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