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Hot sauce plant: Los Angeles suburb suing hot sauce factory for it's 'hot air'

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A Hot sauce plant in Irwindale, Calif. has been targeted by a lawsuit, filed by the Los Angeles suburb the factory is from, stating that their hot sauce company is polluting the air with its “pungent smells,” reports The Associated Press on Feb. 1.

Huy Fong Foods, maker of the Sriracha hot sauce, is accused of stinking up the air with its manufacturing of sun ripened chilies into the popular Asian hot sauce. The city claims the smell is a public nuisance.

The city of Irwindale is now seeking a permanent injunction against the factory's operations, leading Huy Fong scrambling to install some sort of "smell-abatement technology" that will allow its doors to remain open.

The company, based in Rosemead, Calif., was founded in 1980 in Los Angeles's Chinatown, and has since grown to become one of the leaders in the Asian hot sauce market, especially the Sriracha sauce.

Stephen Onstot, an attorney representing Irwindale, said that in addition to the “nuisance” suit filed against the company late last year, the city plans to add a current breach of contract claim because Huy Fong failed to comply with its agreement with the city to not produce “foul odors.”

Residents near the plant say the fumes have led to health problems, such as asthma, nosebleeds, swollen glands and eye irritations. The California Department of Public Health investigated, and found that 18 nearby residents have suffered physical ailments because of the plant's operations.

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