Sriracha Plant, A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered a Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale be partially shut down in response to odor complaints from nearby residents.
Judge Robert H. O’Brien ruled in favor of the city and ordered sauce maker Huy Fong Foods to cease any kind of operations that could be causing the odors and make immediate changes that would help mitigate them.
The injunction does not stop the company operating or using the property entirely, or specify the types of actions that are required.
Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods on Oct. 21 after nearby residents complained of heartburn, inflamed asthma and even nosebleeds that they said were caused by the spicy odor coming from the hot sauce plant.
O’Brien acknowledged in his ruling that there was a “lack of credible evidence” linking the stated health problems to the odor, but said that the odor appears to be “extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance.”
He also wrote that the odor could be “reasonably inferred to be emanating from the facility,” and determined that the city is “likely to prevail” in declaring the odor a public nuisance, according to the ruling.
Irwindale officials applauded the judge’s decision.
“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,” said City Atty. Fred Galante.