Hot Sauce Still A Hot Button Issue In Irwindale - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Hot Sauce Still A Hot Button Issue In Irwindale

Posted: Updated:
Let me get this out of the way right up front. Although I love hot sauce, I’m not wedded to any particular brand. So I don’t have any axe to grind in the whole Sriracha controversy which has exploded in the small city of Irwindale. As people on both sides of the issue packed the city council chambers last night, it was thought to be a foregone conclusion that council members would vote to officially declare the  Sriracha plant a public nuisance. So just about everyone was shocked and stunned when the council instead voted to table the issue until May 14th. Frankly, I’m not that surprised. The city has a lot to lose.

Here’s the issue. Residents who live near the plant complain that during the hot sauce processing season, the smell emanating from the plant is so noxious that it causes watery eyes, nausea and other problems.  Things didn’t look good for the popular hot sauce maker Huy Fong Foods. The city attorney and the council seemed poised to issue Sriracha CEO David Tran an ultimatum: get rid of the odor or we’ll get rid of you. But as is so often the case, once all the details began to come out, the story wasn’t quite what it seemed.

Turns out the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) received about 70 complaints in all with apparently 60% of them coming from just four families. And while not discounting the legitimacy of those complaints, declaring a company that provides up to a couple of hundred jobs a public nuisance seems to many to be a bit extreme, especially given the relatively small number of complaints in the city of just over 1400. Not that the concerns shouldn’t be addressed. But do things really have to be so contentious? And keep in mind it was the city that encouraged and approved Sriracha’s relocation of the $40 million plant to Irwindale just a few short years ago.

It would behoove the city and Sriracha to find an amicable solution and do it sooner rather than later.  Forcing the plant to close would unquestionably hurt both, not to mention the many people who would lose their jobs. But the long term effects might be particularly hurtful to Irwindale. A number of states and other cities here in California have been actively courting, some might even say begging to have Sriracha since this whole thing erupted. But perhaps even worse, Irwindale may unintentionally be sending a message to companies that might consider locating there that the city is not a very friendly place to do business. I can’t believe that is a reputation city officials would want to acquire.
Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
  • Share ThisMore>>

  • Venice Lightning Strike Survivor Meets His Rescuers

    Venice Lightning Strike Survivor Meets His Rescuers

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:48:58 GMT
    A month and a day has passed since the fatal lightning strike suddenly hit the shore off Venice Beach, hospitalizing about a dozen people. One of the most critically injured patients was reunited with his rescuers by the Venice Pier Thursday.
    A month and a day has passed since the fatal lightning strike suddenly hit the shore off Venice Beach, hospitalizing about a dozen people. One of the most critically injured patients was reunited with his rescuers by the Venice Pier Thursday.
  • National Dog Day: Send Us Your Pup Pics

    National Dog Day: Send Us Your Pup Pics

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:17:59 GMT
    The purpose of the holiday is to show appreciation for the millions of the dogs in the US that keep us safe and bring us comfort and companionship.
    The purpose of the holiday is to show appreciation for the millions of the dogs in the US that keep us safe and bring us comfort and companionship.
  • myFOX Tech

    Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3- The Future of Laptops, NOW!

    Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3- The Future of Laptops, NOW!

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-08-26 16:14:57 GMT
    It's no secret that Microsoft has struggled in the hardware department so I can't say whether the Surface Pro 3 will be the hero Microsoft needs but I can say it is the modern computing experience users deserve. I love it and think you should too! Read on to find out why.
    It's no secret that Microsoft has struggled in the hardware department so I can't say whether the Surface Pro 3 will be the hero Microsoft needs but I can say it is the modern computing experience users deserve. I love it and think you should too! Read on to find out why.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices