Shalom Life | April 09, 2014

Hot Times for #1 Kosher Hot Sauce

Sriracha, also known as 'rooster sauce', may be forced to shut down after residents of Irwindale, CA have complained about objectionable odours

By: Emily Brewes

Published: October 30th, 2013 in News » World

Every day, the Sriracha plant fills more than 200, 000 rooster-adorned bottles with their ubiquitous hot sauce, and still barely fulfils demand. What sounds like an ideal industrial partner for any city to have is causing headaches - not to mention burning eyes and throats - for the town of Irwindale, CA.

Spurred by complaints from residents who claim the smells emanating from the factory are adversely affecting quality of life, the city has taken the matter to court. A judge has been asked to force Huy Fong Foods - makers of Sriracha - to shut down production until the problem can be resolved. Even if it weren't currently the height of chilli harvest and processing, a shutdown could result in a significant price increase for the world's favourite hot sauce, that also happens to be kosher.

"If the city shuts us down, the price of Sriracha will jump up a lot," said CEO and founder David Tran of Huy Fong Foods. He added that, upon reading the report from the city, he was "very surprised."

The factory has been exploring options to beef up their air filtration system, which already includes two layers of active carbon filters, but wants to ensure the solution will work, and above all, will be safe.

According to the city's attorney, Fred Galante, "If they fix it and the odour problems stop, we don’t need this order; but so far the odour complaints continue," citing nearly 30 residents who have added their names to the complaint, or filed complaints of their own.

A judge is scheduled to make a decision regarding the shutdown order by Thursday.

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