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Sriracha bottles on the line at Huy Fong Foods' Irwindale factory. (Ted Soqui/Corbis)

Sriracha Is, Officially, Safe

Irwindale City Council voted to end their public nuisance complaint against the makers of Sriracha hot sauce

smithsonian.com

Last fall, the foodie world was thrown into a panic when the Irwindale, Calif., factory of Huy Fong Foods—the makers of Sriracha hot sauce—was forced to shut down over a public nuisance complaint. The smell of the crushed chili peppers was making it hard for people to breathe, it was claimed, and the city told the factory to stop production.

In the months that followed, Irwindale contemplated the Sriracha factory's fate, other states worked hard to court Huy Fong Foods' business and hot sauce lovers hoarded the distinctive rooster-emblazoned bottles of garlic chili sauce.

In a vote yesterday night, the Irwindale City Council brought the dispute to an end, says the Associated Press. The city council voted to drop the whole thing, meaning that Sriracha and its fancy new 650,000 square foot factory are safe. In the meantime, says the AP, Huy Fong Foods has installed a new filtering system at the plant. Whether the air quality will actually be improved or whether the Irwindale City Council chose to put business interests over public health can't be known yet. At the Sriracha factory, says the AP, “chili-grinding season begins in August.”

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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