A California judge has denied a city's request to order Huy Fong Foods to cease operations at its local plant.
Huy Fong Foods opened the 650,000-square-foot factory in Irwindale in 2010. Every fall, the plant roasts peppers for its popular Sriracha sauce.
Some Irwindale residents have complained about the factory's strong odors this time of year— reporting burning eyes, irritated throats, headaches, and a smell "so aggressive that one family was forced to move a birthday party indoors" — leading the city to file a lawsuit Monday with Los Angeles County's Superior Court.
"Given how long it's going on, we had no choice but to institute this action," Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante told the Los Angeles Times. (A BuzzFeed reporter in Irwindale wrote Wednesday that the smell was "faint, pleasant even.")
In his Thursday ruling, judge Robert H. O'Brien called the city's lawsuit "rather edgy" and "radical." He set another hearing for Nov. 22 — after the chile harvest — to revisit the issue.
But before O'Brien's decision, Huy Fong Foods CEO David Tran warned that the price of Sriracha would spike under a shutdown.
"If it doesn't smell, we can't sell," he said. "If the city shuts us down, the price of Sriracha will jump a lot."
Which may have sparked a minor panic ...
... that was thankfully completely unwarranted! Now enjoy all that sauce.
Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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