TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Despite fumes, hot sauce plant to remain open

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 7:21 p.m.
 

LOS ANGELES — A judge refused on Thursday to order an immediate halt to production of the internationally popular hot sauce Sriracha at a Southern California factory that local residents say is stinking up their neighborhoods with pepper and garlic fumes.

In rejecting the city of Irwindale's request for a temporary restraining order, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O'Brien indicated he wasn't given enough time to consider the case.

“You're asking for a very radical order on 24-hour notice,” O'Brien told attorney June Ailin, representing the city.

Instead, O'Brien scheduled a Nov. 22 hearing to consider issuing a preliminary injunction.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday, Irwindale said it had received “numerous” complaints from residents who say the smell coming from the Huy Fong Foods plant burns their eyes and throats and gives them headaches.

The odor lasts for about 3½ months a year, during the California jalapeno pepper harvest season.

The company, which produces Sriracha and two other popular sauces, says it grinds up about 100 million pounds of the hottest California-grown hybrid jalapeno peppers it can find. The peppers are mixed with garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar, with the resulting fumes sucked through a filtration system and out through the roof.

City officials say complaints started arriving in September, soon after jalapeno harvest season began. Some people downwind have said the effect is like having a big plate of hot peppers shoved in your face.

The harvest season will end in about a week, meaning the smell should be gone by the Nov. 22 hearing — at least until next August.

However, City Manager John Davidson said after the hearing that Huy Fong officials have told the city they are working on developing a better filtration system that they think will kill the smell by next year.

“And that's good news for us,” he said. “We are hoping they do.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Murder charges dropped against sergeant who shot 2 unarmed Iraqi boys
  2. First Ebola case in U.S. confirmed in Dallas
  3. Dallas hospital confirms 1st Ebola case in U.S.
  4. Panel says Wis. lawmaker likely broke House rules by advocating for companies in which he owned stock
  5. Feds say $100M in data hacked
  6. Medical marijuana use to get court test in Colo.
  7. FCC backs end to NFL broadcast blackouts
  8. New York City mayor boosts city’s living wage to $13.13
  9. Secret Service chief endures blistering glare of Congress’ questions over White House breach
  10. Pentagon review puts Gitmo transfers on ice
  11. California becomes 1st state to ban plastic bags
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.