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Sriracha sauce lovers stock up before possible shutdown

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Things are heating up at the Sriracha sauce plant in Irwindale’s Huy Fong Foods and it’s not just the chili sauce. A county court in Los Angeles has ordered the iconic sauce makers to cease operations until further notice.

The hot sauce makers are being told the residents in Irwindale are upset due to the smells coming from the plant. The aroma of the sauce production is causing headaches, runny noses and in one case, a bloody nose.

The city of Irwindale is suing the Huy Fong Food Company over the ordeal. Until the court date arrives, a partial shutdown is ordered.

Huy Fong states that none of the workers have complained about the personal closeness they deal with while making the peppery concoction. The sauce is manufactured from jalapeno peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic. When the lawsuit was first filed in October, the lawsuit could create a problem for the plant in obtaining the supplies needed for creating the beloved spicy juice.

The fresh chilies that are needed to produce the sauce are picked and processed within a day to maintain the freshness of the chilies. Over 100 million pounds of chilies are used during a two to three month period during the fall, when chilies are at their peak. The partial shutdown of the plant could cripple production in the following year.

The chilies in the plant will rot if not processed immediately.

The popular Sriracha sauce is demanded all over the world and the company is working hard to keep up with the market, although the peppers are processed only one time per year. The Irwindale plant opened to help supplement the production of a plant that exists a few miles away. Eventually, Huy Fong states the company wanted to move all production to Irwindale. No further word is available as to whether or not that will happen now.

Because of the complaints of the local residents, the issue may have to go to court before any further production can take place. The company and residents of Irwindale may be able to resolve the matter out of court, but until then, the peppers are rotting.

After over 30 years in business, the founder of Huy Fong, David Tran, claims he’s never had to raise the price of the sauce. Now he may have to reconsider that option.



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