Neighbors Get Into Heated Argument with Local Sriracha Factory

Nearby residents compare the feeling to being pepper sprayed from the fumes

While lots of people love a good dose of Sriracha -- the super-spicy red pepper-based sauce -- on just about anything, some Los Angeles citizens are inhaling it -- literally.

Residents in the Irwindale area near L.A. say fumes from the local Sriracha factory are apparently making them sick, The Los Angeles Times reports. One neighbor — who loves the spicy stuff on his food — compared the feeling to being pepper sprayed. Others say it makes their eyes water and their throats burn.

(For the record, other neighbors say it doesn’t bother them at all, and even find the smell rather pleasant.)

While some residents say they're paying the price for Sriracha’s business boom (the L.A. Times calls it "the condiment of the moment"), company officials say a pungent smell is a necessary byproduct of the sauce that people love; intensely spicy peppers are what give it its flavor. 

Claiming that the odor is a public nuisance, the city has asked a judge to stop production of the sauce until the spicy exhaust can be reduced. Chief executive and founder David Tran -- the Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant who started the company decades ago -- told the Times the price of Sriracha will jump up a lot if the city takes measures against the plant.

Here’s hoping the factory, city and neighbors quickly come to the end of their (ahem) heated argument, so we can stay stocked with Sriracha!

Tell us in the comments: Sriracha — love it, or too spicy?

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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