The Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale, California has been ordered to cease production due to the presence of microorganisms in the beloved sauce. The Los Angeles Superior Court ordered Huy Fong Foods company to stop making Sriracha, in addition to its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek, until it can better control not only the microorganisms, but also the irritating odors affecting locals.
Sriracha addicts across the country are in for a nasty surprise: the next batch of the sauce won’t be delivered to stores and restaurants until after the new year. The Department of Public Health hasn’t shut down the hot sauce maker, but has put production on hold for 30 days until the manufacturer enforces stricter guidelines. First Huy Fong has been ordered to control microorganisms in the sauces by holding them at a specific pH level.
The company also has to find a way to control the byproduct of hot sauce production – a spicy odor that is unleashed during pepper grinding season between August and November. In the last two years, Sriracha has amped up their production to meet growing demand, but locals around Irwindale say the peppery odors wafting from the manufacturing facility give them scratchy throats and burn their eyes.
Huy Fong Food is expected to lose $300,000 during the temporary shut down.