US & Canada

Sriracha hot sauce factory declared a public nuisance

Sriracha chili sauce is produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, California, on 29 October 2013
Image caption Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods employs to up to 200 workers and earned about $85m (£50m) last year

A California city has declared a factory which produces a popular Asian-style hot pepper sauce a public nuisance, after area residents complained of the odour.

The city of Irwindale on Wednesday night gave Sriracha sauce maker Huy Fong Foods 90 days to curb the odours.

The declaration allows city officials to order changes should such odours remain after the deadline.

The factory churns 100 million lb (45.4 million kg) of chili pepper a year.

The city of about 1,400 people first sued the sauce maker in October, asking a judge to halt production after residents complained fumes from the production stung their eyes and caused coughing fits and headaches.

A judge ordered the company to mitigate the odour in November but the annual pepper-grinding season - August to October - had already ended.

The company had reportedly been working with air quality experts to identify a solution by 1 June.

John Tate, an attorney for Huy Fong Foods, said the city was "flexing its muscle and thumbing Huy Fong in the eye".

Huy Fong Foods, employer to up to 200 workers, is said to have earned $85m (£50m) last year.

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