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Judge Orders Sriracha Factory To Cool It

Frederic J. Brown
AFP/Getty Images

Peppered with complaints from citizens about burning eyes, sore throats and headaches, city officials in Irwindale, Calif., went to court to see if they could do something about smells coming from a factory that produces Sriracha hot sauce.

Now, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has said the factory must partially shut down while the city and Huy Fong Foods try to address the issue. According to the Los Angeles Times, though, "the injunction does not order the company to stop operating entirely, or specify the types of actions that are required."

The Associated Press and the Times say Huy Fong Foods did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

You might say the judge has imposed a cooling-off period. Or, perhaps, a dash of compromise. Maybe, even, that he's appealing to the two sides to be resauceful and reach a compromise. (We could go on; please feel free to do so in the comments thread.)

As for the very popular sauce, the AP notes that:

"The company had previously argued that there is no reason to close the plant now because harvest season and subsequent grinding of red-hot Jalapeno peppers, the sauce's key ingredient, has passed. That suggests that the injunction may not have a major immediate effect on the company's production or the nation's hot sauce supply as Huy Fong keeps up its year-round mixing and bottling."

Fans can also take comfort from this news: There's a Sriracha lip balm.

A related post from our Kitchen Window friends: Confessions Of A Sriracha Fanatic.

Update at 9 a.m. ET. Hat Tip Or Hot Tip?

We forgot to thank our friends on the Newscast Desk for telling us about the judge's decision. They deserve an H/T.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.