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Sriracha shipping halted until January

By Gabrielle Levy
Sriracha shipping halted until January
Bottles of Sriracha sauce lined up. (Flickr/TedEtyan)

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Weep, Sriracha lovers. The day we dreaded has arrived.

Makers of the cult-favorite hot sauce, Huy Fong Foods, have been forced to halt shipping orders from their Irwindale, Calif., factory after the California Department of Health Services began enforcing stricter guidelines.

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Huy Fong began complying with a requirement to hold shipments of their three sauces -- Sriracha, Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek -- for at least 30 days, said operations manager Donna Lam.

The setback is the latest for the sauce-maker, which has been battling with its neighbors over the spicy smell wafting from the factory. Residents complained the smell was causing health problems, and an LA Superior Court judge ordered odor-causing productions shut down in November until a solution could be found.

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While the November order did not cause an immediate break in production -- Huy Fong said it had completed all chili grinding for the year, and was completing instead the much-less odorous mixing and bottling.

But with the company now complying with the 30-day hold period, the flow of the calescent condiment has caused problems for distributors.

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"We have already received more than 30 angry phone calls today," said Damon Chu, president of the wholesale Asian food supplier Giant Union, which buys as much as $150,000 in Huy Fong product each month. "It drives me crazy because this is the first time we have been in this situation."

RELATED Judge orders California Sriracha plant to partially shut down

So if the worst case scenario does come to pass, forcing a shortage or skyrocketing prices, there's always the do-it-yourself option.

Desperate times, people.

[Los Angeles Times]

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