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UPDATE: Odor Pollution? Sriracha Sauce in Irwindale

Posted on April 24, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse
Sriracha costume
Sriracha costume

We last wrote about the issue of odor pollution from the Sriracha factory in Irwindale last Halloween, but there have been developments in this story in the past week.

We are all in favor of US made hot sauce–after all, it won’t have any lead in it, like some imported hot sauces can–but is this factory affecting the quality of life in Irwindale, CA too much?

The City of Irwindale has received some complaints from residents about odors issuing from the Sriracha factory on Azusa Canyon Road claiming that the smell is a public nuisance, causing eye and throat irritation and headaches.

The factory has been in production for about 2 years and the carbon filters installed at that time seem to have been adequate for the 10% production capacity at which it was working then. But now that the factory has ramped up production to 100%, they may be ineffective. New filters were installed last week and although the residents have requested that the factory stop production, the owners want to keep making hot sauce and test to see if the new filters are doing the job. So far, a judge has denied the request for a restraining order and production continues.

Since our original article was published, the owner of the factory expressed a willingness to move the factory and invited some potential buyers and a US Congressional Representative to tour the factory.

“Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Los Angeles) visited the hot sauce factory Tuesday and spoke with Tran about potentially relocating to the San Fernando Valley. Cardenas is one of dozens of politicians nationwide who have publicly invited Sriracha to locate within their jurisdiction. Offers have poured in from Alabama, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kansas, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Arizona, New Mexico and West Virginia.” Los Angeles Times

Being a hot sauce wimp myself, I have no opinion on the deliciousness of Sriracha, but my son does not feel the same way.  We certainly understand how an everpresent noxious odor can affect everything including productivity and even student performance in school. The factory employs 200 workers and brings a successful industry to wherever it is located. Keep your eyes open for more updates on this redolent story!

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