After nearby residents complained of the intense, pain-inducing odor emanating from its production facilities, a judge gave "a dose of cold water to the hot sauce Sriracha" (wordplay courtesy of the Associated Press), ordering a partial shutdown of the Los Angeles factory.
Judge Robert H. O'Brien ruled in favor of the city and ordered sauce maker Huy Fong Foods to cease any kind of operations that could be causing the odors and make immediate changes that would help mitigate them.
The injunction does not order the company to stop operating entirely, or specify the types of actions that are required.
The city of Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods on Oct. 21 after nearby residents complained of heartburn, inflamed asthma and even nosebleeds that they said were caused by the spicy odor coming from the hot sauce plant.
O'Brien acknowledged in his ruling that there was a "lack of credible evidence" linking the stated health problems to the odor, but said that the odor appears to be "extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance."
This year's chili-grinding season, which was responsible for the odor, has already ended, which should mean that our Sriracha supply is safe for now. However, it's unclear whether the shutdown will effect the ongoing mixing and bottling of the sauce. And all involved are hoping that the issue will be worked out in time for next year's round of production.