This Monday, the city of Irwingdale California, filed a public nuisance lawsuit against the hot sauce company Huy Fong foods. Citing droves of “residents are complaining of burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches caused by a powerful, painful odor,” the complaint demanded that the company cease the production of the immensely popular Sriracha chili sauce at their 600,000 foot processing plant in Rosemead, until they come up with a way to stop the inflammatory odor emanating from the premises. The suit even described “one family [who] was forced to move a birthday party indoors after the spicy odor descended on the festivities.” Apparently negotiations began on October 1st, when city staff contacted officials at the factory to remedy this chili smell. Company heads said they would “do everything possible to abate the odors,” but when pressed again on Oct.16th, the company denied these allegations, claiming there was no smell issue to begin with. The lawsuit claimed that “to date, the city has received no action plan from (Huy) illustrating the steps it will take to address the problem.” A judge is scheduled to rule this demand on Thursday, the 31st., which may verifiably ruin Halloween for all U.S. hot sauce lovers and save it for the residents of Irwingdale.
At first I was baffled as to why anyone would complain about riding Sriracha fumes every single day of their lives upon stepping outside. Sarcastically, from my Sriracha loving perspective, I thought, “buy some goggles people.” But after almost laughing at the idea of these ominous stenches ruining children’s birthday parties, I began to feel empathy for the non-Sriracha enthusiasts of Irwingdale who were nasally assaulted by Huy Fong’s sauce production. Though I hope that the plant isn’t forced to cease production, as this might cause a Sriracha deficit in all of our lives, I also hope that the citizens of Irwingdale can be rescued from these irritating gases. Perhaps some creative solutions could be made to remedy the problem. This might mean creating gigantic Febreze columns that could be installed around the city. I’m sure copious amounts of “exotic” and possibly racist odors like Thai Dragonfruit or Hawaiian Aloha would do the trick.