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Hot Sauce Factory Will Stay Open, For Now

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A judge has turned down a California city's attempt to shut down a factory that produces the popular hot sauce Sriracha. Residents complained about pepper and garlic fumes wafting through the air. But a Los Angeles Superior Court judge blocked the city of Irwindale's opening bid to shut down the plant.


Really can't get enough of the story, so let's revisit it. It's a story that we reported on earlier this week involving burning lips, watering eyes, a mouth full of fire. Good things when eating a spicy meal, but not so great when it involves the air you breathe - which is what some residents of Irwindale, Calif., are complaining about.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: When the founder of Huy Fong Foods, David Tran, started selling Sriracha sauce in the early 1980s people told him to make it milder. Well, as he told the LA Times earlier this year, hot sauce must be hot. We don't make mayonnaise here.

Well, that attitude has made his brand a household name - or just about. You know, it's the red hot sauce, sold in clear bottles with green tops. I like to call hipster ketchup.

Any way Huy Fong sells $60 million worth of it each year. But the city of Irwindale has asked a California judge to halt production until a better air filtration system can be put in place.

Huy Fong claims the air filtration system would force the company to raise prices. The company got a reprieve though, from the injunction. A judge in the Los Angeles agreed to give the company until November 22nd to make its case.

Don't panic yet, Srirachi lovers. For another three weeks at least, the company is still not making mayonnaise.

Sonari Glinton, NPR News, Culver City.

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