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  • small town news    April 10 
A smelly California Sriracha factory has been declared a public nuisance
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The smell emanating from a Sriracha hot sauce factory in Irwindale, Calif., is becoming too much for its neighbors to take in, and the town's city council is taking action. Declaring the plant a public nuisance, the council gave The Huy Fong Foods factory, which churns out 100 million pounds of the spicy sauce annually, three months to mitigate the smell — or else.

Since at least the fall of last year, residents have complained to Irwindale that the factory's odors burn their eyes and cause coughing fits throughout the day. The city even won a lawsuit against the plant in November, forcing it to "partially cease operations," but it looks like the council wants more done. The unanimous vote last night was the equivalent of an ultimatum, giving the factory 90 days to reduce the odor before officials order mandatory changes.

An attorney for the company said the city was "flexing its muscle and thumbing Huy Fong in the eye." Nevertheless, they are working with air quality experts to have the problem solved by June 1 — so no need to start stockpiling the sauce just yet.

- - Jordan Valinsky
 
 
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