A Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale, Calif.,. was forced to partially shut down Tuesday because of several health complaints from local residents regarding odors coming from the plant.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien ordered Huy Fong Foods to halt any production that might cause the smell and correct the problem. The company can still operate and use the property for other purposes.
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Huy Fong Foods was sued Oct. 21 by the town of Irwindale after some neighbors reported cases of heartburn, inflamed asthma, and nosebleeds that they said were the result of the spicy odor emanating from the hot sauce plant. The suit alleges that the company refused to take appropriate measures to stop the Sriracha fumes, according to USA Today
While O'Brien noted that the suit had a "lack of credible evidence," he ruled that the odor appeared to be "extremely annoying, irritating, and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance," according to the Los Angeles Times
Town officials were pleased with the decision.
"We believe it's a strong ruling that acknowledges and is reflective of the concerns that the community has raised about the health impacts of the odor," City Attorney Fred Galante told the Times.
Representatives from Huy Fong didn't return Times requests Tuesday for comment. The company's Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is one of the top-selling toppings in the U.S. It also makes Sambel Oelek and Chili Garlic sauces.
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