updated - March 9, 2014 Sunday EDT
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday, Sriracha spicy sauce maker Huy Fong Foods must stop production practices that bring about toxic odors, and institute adjustments so smells are no longer a nuisance USA Today reported Wednesday.
"Neither the city, nor the judge, was specific in terms of what has to be done to cease the odors and left how that goal is achieved up to the defendant," Stephen Onstot, an attorney with Irwindale Calif. told Reuters after the ruling.
The price for the sauce product was expected to increase based on previous reports.
"If the city shuts us down, the price of Sriracha will jump up a lot," David Tran chief executive officer and founder of Huy Fong told The Times last month.
The city received 30 complaints from residents about stinging in their eyes and throats, and some headache. Therefore, Irwindale city officials requested a judge shut down the plant, which made uncooked material for its hot sauce product three months out of the year, is currently harvesting chile peppers. A ruling on the order is expected last month.
A city consultant suggested the municipality utilize a $600,000 cleaning system to get rid of the odor and prevent it from getting into the atmosphere. The company looked into the system, but was curious to know what other options were available.
The company put in carbon filters last year to try and solve the problem, and has since added more following complaints from residents.
Huy Fong has operated the factory in Rosemead Calif. for 30 years without having any problems. The building also sits in a residential neighborhood next to several production plants that make beer, and dog food.
"Burning the pepper air just didn't seem safer. Maybe we didn't move fast enough, but it's a big business expense and we want to make sure it's the right investment," Adam Holliday, director of operations for Huy Fong Foods told The Los Angeles Times.
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