California judge orders hot sauce plant shut down

Nov. 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM

IRWINDALE, Calif., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A California judge ordered a plant manufacturing Sriracha hot sauce to be partially shut down due to complaints from neighbors about its odor.

Judge Robert H. O'Brien ruled in favor of the city of Irwindale and told Huy Fong Foods to shut down any parts of the plant that could be causing the offending odor until a solution can be found to keep the manufacture of the hot sauce from bothering nearby residents, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The city filed suit against the food company Oct. 21 as a result of complaints from residents who blamed the spicy odor from the factory for their heartburn, inflamed asthma and nosebleeds.

O'Brien said there was a "lack of credible evidence" tying the health problems to the smell, but he was convinced the odor was "extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance."

City Attorney Fred Galante welcomed the ruling.

"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," he said.

Huy Fong Foods officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the Times said.

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