Brace yourself for the #srirachapocalypse

The California Health Department halted shipments of the popular hot sauce

Published December 12, 2013 6:37PM (EST)

There will be no more Sriracha until mid-January. Following strict new guidelines from California state regulators, Huy Fong Foods is halting all shipments of the popular hot sauce for 30 days. The Pasadena Star-News reports:

Officials with the California Department of Public Health said a rule change affecting the company’s production procedure for Sriracha and its other two sauces became necessary after government officials reviewed the manufacturing process earlier this year.

“The regulations outlining this process have been in existence for years, but the modified production requirements were established for the firm this year,” state Health Department spokeswoman Anita Gore said in a written statement.

Because Sriracha is not cooked, only mashed and blended, Huy Fong needs to make sure its bottles won’t harbor dangerous bacteria.

"It's not a bad product," Donna Lam, executive operations officer for Huy Fong Foods, added. "It's strictly regulations."

The month-long hold is fueling concerns about a Sriracha shortage, which were already raised last month when a judge ordered the Los Angeles factory into a partial shutdown over complaints that its strong, chili-laced odor was causing a public health crisis.

Twitter reacted to the new developments as expected:

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Though where some see disaster, others recognize opportunity:

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By Lindsay Abrams

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Food Los Angeles Sriracha