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. Life

    Amazon Whittles Down List of HQ2 Contenders to 20 Finalists

    The list skews toward larger cities and metropolitan areas along the Eastern corridor, stretching as far north as Toronto and as far south as Miami. And it looks like some of the economic incentives might be paying off.

  2. An aisle in a grocery store
    Equity

    It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality

    A new study suggests that America’s great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access within cities.

  3. A man sits in a room alone.
    Equity

    The World's First Minister of Loneliness

    Britain just created an entirely new ministry to tackle this serious public health concern.

  4. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.
    Design

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

  5. Transportation

    On Paris Metro, Drug Abuse Reaches a Boiling Point

    The transit workers’ union says some stations on Line 12 are too dangerous to stop at. What will the city do?