Odds and ends for April 11
Sriracha maker declared nuisance
IRWINDALE, California (AP) — A Southern California city has declared the factory that produces the popular Sriracha hot sauce a public nuisance.
The Irwindale City Council’s action Wednesday gives the factory 90 days to make changes to stop the spicy odors that spurred complaints from residents last fall. Declaring a public nuisance will allow city officials to enter the factory and make changes if the odors persist after the deadline. The decision came despite testimony by air-quality experts that progress was being made toward a resolution. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said its inspectors have taken air samples inside the plant, and believed the information gathered should allow the factory and the city to resolve their differences.
Attorney John Tate, who represents Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods, Inc., said the firm had been working with the AQMD on its filtration system and was committed to finding long-term solutions by June 1. He called the public nuisance declaration a way of “thumbing Huy Fong in the eye.”
Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods last October, asking a judge to halt production at the company’s factory, saying residents downwind complained that fumes from the grinding of red hot chili peppers was stinging their eyes and giving them headaches and coughing fits.
In November a judge ordered the company to stop producing the annoying odors, but by then the annual pepper-grinding season, which runs from August through October, had ended.
In the meantime, several residents complained that the smell was persisting as Huy Fong Foods workers continued to bottle the popular hot sauce that is a staple in Asian restaurants and homes. Data provided by the AQMD showed the majority of complaints came from four households.
Huy Fong Foods moved to Irwindale two years ago, opening a new $40 million plant in the largely industrial city of 1,400 residents.
The company was founded by Vietnamese immigrant David Tran, who began mixing up his distinctive sauce in a bucket at his home in 1980. As business boomed, he opened a plant in Rosemead, moving to Irwindale when his company outgrew that facility.
He said the privately held company took in about $85 million last year, adding it employs about 200 workers during the pepper-grinding season and 60 year-round.
The flaming hot sauce is contained in distinctive green-tipped bottles, each with a drawing of a rooster on the side.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.