Flickr

Stock up while you can.

Bad news for lovers of Sriracha sauce. A Los Angeles County court has ordered the maker of the iconic chili sauce to partially cease operations until it can get the allegedly eye-watering, heartburn-inducing odors its plant produces under control. The city of Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods after residents living near a major Sriracha plant complained that spicy smells were giving them runny noses, headaches, and in one case, more nosebleeds.

Huy Fong says that its own workers have never complained about being close to the production of the sauce, made from jalapeño peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic. As we reported in October when the lawsuit was first filed, the move could pose a problem for supplies of Sriracha.

Because Huy Fong only uses fresh chilies that need to be processed within a day of being picked, the company processes all of the over 100 million plus pounds of chilies it uses during a two to three month window in the fall, as the chilies ripen. A partial shutdown of its 665,000-square-foot (about 61,780 square meters) plant in Irwindale right now could cripple production for the year ahead, and force Huy Fong to leave chilies to rot.

The company already struggles to meet global demand for its increasingly popular sauce. The Irwindale plant was opened to supplement production from another plant about half its size a few miles away. The company planned to eventually move all production to Irwindale.

The case may still go to trial but city officials say they hope the company and Irwindale can resolve the issue out of court. If the case isn’t resolved soon and Sriracha supplies are affected, David Tran, founder of Huy Fong who says he’s never raised the wholesale price for the sauce in over 30 years of its making, might have to change his mind about that.

Top image courtesy of Flickr user Ted Eytan.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    New York City Will Require Bird-Friendly Glass on Buildings

    Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds smash into the city’s buildings every year. The city council just passed a bill to cut back on the carnage.

  2. a map of future climate risks in the U.S.
    Maps

    America After Climate Change, Mapped

    With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

  3. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  4. photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009
    Maps

    Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

    It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

  5. photo: A man boards a bus in Kansas City, Missouri.
    Transportation

    Why Kansas City’s Free Transit Experiment Matters

    The Missouri city is the first major one in the U.S. to offer no-cost public transportation. Will a boost in subsidized mobility pay off with economic benefits?

×