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Stock Up on Sriracha Sauce as Factory Goes Into Shutdown

Fans of the spicy sauce might want to stalk up, or risk battling it out in the aisles.

By Madeline Milani
November 30, 2013
By Madeline Milani
November 30, 2013

Ah, Sriracha. Possibly the only condiment with a true cult following. From ramen to lollies, it can be used on and in anything, literally. Devotes can’t live without that so hot but so good burn that leaves mouths on fire, noses runny and eyes watery. Well, people, there’s some bad news. The major Sriracha factory in California is partially shutting down.

All because the citizens of Irwindale couldn’t take a little heat. Residents complained of heartburn, inflamed asthma and even nosebleeds that were caused by a "spicy odour" coming from the factory. They took Huy Fong Foods to court, where a local judge ordered the manufacturer to stop doing, er, whatever they were doing to cause the stench.

The ruling does not order the company to stop operating entirely, nor specify the types of actions that are required. Basically, they can go back to making their spicy sauce once they get that damn smell under wraps. The best part: the judge conceded to the "lack of credible evidence" linking the apparent health problems to the odour, but said that it seems to be "extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance." Weeeak.

So what does this mean for Sriracha lovers? Well, because Huy Fong uses only the freshest chillies in its secret recipe, the fiery little guys must be ground within days of harvest. This process, which happens only two or three months out of the year, has fortunately been completed. The bottling process goes on year round, but a partial shutdown of this factory, the largest of two, could leave the sauce to spoil. Since the company already struggles to keep up with its growing global demand, this is no bueno.

Huy Fong’s founder, David Tran, claims he’s never raised the wholesale price for the sauce in over 30 years, but that might have to change. So you might want to think about making a supermarket trip or two, like soon.

Image via ilovememphis. Story via Quartz.

Published on November 30, 2013 by Madeline Milani


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