After odor complaints, Sriracha invited to Philadelphia

The hip, highly spicy Southeast Asian hot sauce may taste great on your Pad Thai, but residents near Huy Fong Foods, Sriracha’s manufacturing plant in Irwindale, California, are hot and bothered over the pungent odors that many claim have seriously impacted their quality of life. In addition to complaints about the omnipresent aroma of chilies and garlic, many claim to have developed eye irritation, headaches, and sore throats from the irritating fumes. Children with asthma have reportedly had to remain indoors when odors are strong.

After the city of Irwindale unsuccessfully attempted to issue a temporary restraining order to the factory, the future of one of America’s favorite condiments remained uncertain. The clash of interests between residents and this iconic business remains unresolved. When one Philadelphia council member learned of this conflict and the lawsuit by Irwindale, he became very concerned and contacted David Tran, Huy Fong’s CEO. The council member suggested that Fong move his operations to an area of Philadelphia far from residential areas, claiming that mayhem would ensue in Philadelphia if the “City of Brotherly Love” lost access to a favorite cheesesteak topping.

The attorney for the Southern California city is quick to clarify that he has tremendous respect for the hot sauce manufacturer, and that the goal with this lawsuit was never to shut down Huy Fong’s production, but only to assure safety and better air quality for local residents. He expresses concern that Philadelphia may not be fully aware of all the health and zoning issues involved in the sauce production. The company is currently looking into a better filtration system to protect the community.

While the lawsuit may be on its way to resolution, individual personal injury and product liability litigation may still be in process. If anyone in the affected area has experienced health issues or had their quality of life impacted by the product’s manufacturing process, an attorney could help evaluate his or her claims and provide advocacy for their pain, suffering and injuries. Some of these residents may be entitled to cash settlements. Although Sriracha hot sauce has a cult-like following of admirers, chilies are still noxious ingredients that can harm lungs and mucus membranes. The company has a responsibility to protect the health of the citizens that share air space with their plant.

Source: ABC News, “Philadelphia Invites Sriracha Maker to City of Brotherly Lover to Escape Calif. Lawsuit” Russell Goldman and Susanna Kim, Nov. 04, 2013