The city of Irwindale, Calif., is turning the heat up on Sriracha chili sauce.
The city’s lawyer has filed a suit against Huy Fong Foods Inc., makers of the popular hot sauce with the rooster on the label, claiming that its production creates a noxious chili-laced cloud that is irritating residents’ throats, burning their eyes and giving them headaches.
On Monday, city attorney Fred Galante filed a suit in Los Angeles County Court, asking a judge to order the company to shut down production unless or until it can find a way to mitigate the odor.
“The city started receiving a significant number of complaints about odors from the chili factory,” Irwindale city attorney Fred Galante told ABC News.com. At least 30 people in the area have complained.
The company moved to a 65,000 sq. foot factory in Irwindale last year. All of the chili used in the manufacture of the sauce is processed between September and December.
“Residents have been coming to council meetings to complain. Outdoor activities had to move indoors. A child’s birthday party had to be moved inside. In many cases the odor is strong enough to make people eye’s tear, it’s that potent,” Galante said.
The city, which lured Huy Fong to build the processing facility in town, says it had been in contact with the company to install a new filtration system, but talks abruptly broke down and the city sued.
When reached by ABCNews.com, a representative for Huy Fong said the company would not be making a statement on the suit.