California city votes to end Sriracha dispute

By Associated Press

IRWINDALE, Calif. (AP) – The fiery fight is apparently over between the makers of a popular hot sauce and a small Southern California city that said its factory’s smells were unbearable.

The Irwindale City Council voted May 28 to drop a public nuisance declaration and lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods, makers of Sriracha hot sauce. The dual moves brought an effective end to the spicy-air dispute that had Sriracha devotees worried about future sauce shortages and had suitors, including the state of Texas, offering Huy Fong a friendlier home.

The city of about 1,400 people had been at odds with the company, which recently moved its main operations there, after residents complained last year of spicy odors that burned their throats and eyes.

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the change in position, but the company had been asking the city for more time as it worked with regional air-quality officials on a plan to make the smell go away.

But city officials met behind closed doors May 27 with company CEO David Tran and representatives of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Business and Economic Development Office. Afterward, Mayor Mark Breceda said he would ask the council to end the fight.

“We forged a relationship,” City Councilman Julian Miranda said. “Let’s keep that going.”

Tran, an immigrant from Vietnam whose company produces several chili sauces based on the flavors of his native country, said Tuesday that he installed stronger filters at the plant. He’s confident they will block fumes when the chili-grinding season begins in August. (end)

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