IRWINDALE, CA (KCAL/KCBA/CNN) – City officials in Irwindale, CA want a sriracha hot sauce plant shut down.
Residents say the odor from the factory is unbearable.
At the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, CA where the popular hot sauce is made is in the middle of its busiest times of the year, but the plant is at risk of having to shut down this week after facing criticism from neighbors like Edward Anthony.
"Every morning it smells like flea powder, it's irritating," said Anthony.
Residents say they're suffering from watery eyes, headaches and throat irritation. The City of Irwindale is asking a judge to stop production until the company submits a plan of action to reduce the irritating odor.
" We've been over to the site and the interior is fine, you go to the exterior and it's horrible," said city manager John Davidson.
In the factory, the peppers are ground and the pungent smell travels up into carbon filters and sent straight up to the roof and released in to their air.
The company's founder David Tran said the way the odor is released is best for the current employees.
"Not so strong, but not so strong my workers cannot work," said Tran.
The city says it's recommended bringing in a new filtration system.
"It would arrest 99 percent of the problems we're experiencing," said Adam Holliday of Huy Fong Food, Inc.
However, a new filtration system would cost nearly $600,000 and the company says there's no guarantee they would work.
"We don't want to put in a unit and spend a lot of money and then have the residents still have an issue," said Holliday.
In the meantime, the plant's neighbors like Anthony knows what to expect when he tries to invite his sister and her kids over to his home.
"It always irritates them so our visits are short and they take off," said Anthony.
Both sides are expected in court on Thursday. If Huy Fong is ordered to stop production the company says you can expect the price of sriracha to increase.
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