Sriracha Shortage? Health Dept. Puts Shipments on Hold for a Month

Image: Sriracha Shortage? Health Dept. Puts Shipments on Hold for a Month

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 05:54 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Will there be a Sriracha shortage? Fans yearning for the spicy taste of the hot sauce may have to wait until January after the California manufacturer was told by the state’s health department that shipments are on hold for 30 days, The Los Angeles Times said.

Stricter health department guidelines are being enforced on Huy Fong Foods, which makes the sauce.

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A health department spokesperson told The Associated Press that the guidelines are in effect for other businesses like Huy Fong and are necessary to effectively treat microorganisms in the product.

“Holding products for a period of time at a specified pH level is one method of controlling those microorganisms," a health department email to the AP said.

That means the company's Sriracha won’t be shipped out until mid-January, which likely means many outlets will run out.

This is the second major issue for the manufacturer of the popular sauce in recent months. The company grinds pepper as part of its process and people in Irwindale where Huy Fong opened a new manufacturing plant complained about their eyes burning.

The company was court-ordered to stop letting those pungent smells loose in the community until someone could figure out how to decrease their effects.

An Asian food supplier, Damon Chu, for Giant Union said that customers are already calling to complain and believes he’ll lose as much as $300,000 in business over the issue.

“We have already received more than 30 angry phone calls today," he told the AP. "It drives me crazy because this is the first time we have been in this situation."

The news of the shortage stressed out Sriracha fans, who came up with the Twitter tag #Srirachaapocalypse.

Time magazine published the top foods that will be in scant supply during the shortage, including Sriracha burgers, doughnuts, and yes, candy canes.

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