Phew! Calif. City Sues Over Sriracha Plant's "Offensive" Stench

Residents living near the Southern California plant claim the stench has forced their outdoor fun to move inside

By Christina Cocca, Jacob Rascon and Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013  |  Updated 3:58 PM CDT
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The company responsible for making widely famed hot sauce Sriracha is under fire for the strong stench seeping out of its processing plant.

The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit Monday against saucemaker Huy Fong Foods Inc. after residents complained about the "offensive chili odor," according to a formal complaint filed with Los Angeles Superior Court.

"It's very strong -- it can choke you," said James Hernandez, a resident of the community about 20 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. "Sometimes, you get tears in your eyes. I don't bring my son outside because a little kid is probably feeling it a lot worse."

The suit demands the company stop its production of Sriracha until the smell is no longer a problem.

Irwindale city staff met with Huy Fong Foods officials Oct. 1 and the company representatives said they would "do everything possible to abate the odors," according to the complaint.

The lawsuit then states the city staff was told by an official from Huy Fong Foods that no such problem existed.

The complaint alleges the smell is so strong that residents have moved their "outdoor activities indoors" and even left their homes temporarily to avoid the stench.

"To date, the city has received no action plan from (Huy) illustrating the steps it will take to address the problem," the complaint states.

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