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The factory for everyone's favorite hot sauce just shut down (kind of)

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Sriracha hot sauce has been wildly popular -- without spending a cent on advertising -- with everyone except the people who live near the factory where the hot sauce is produced. Nearby neighbors of the Irwindale, California Sriracha factory have been complaining of irritated throats and headaches caused by the strong odor from the hot peppers. Now they might get some relief.

After the city filed a public nuisance suit against the company in October, a judge ruled this week that the factory must partially shut down and "cease any kind of operations that could be causing the odors and make immediate changes that would help mitigate them," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Does that mean Sriracha will become a rare commodity? Probably not anytime soon. That's because the process that causes the biggest problems is already over for the year, the Associated Press reports:

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.

But if Sriracha can't find a less intrusive alternative to the pepper-grinding process for next season there could be a Sriracha shortage in the making.

Read more: Los Angeles Times, Associated Press

Photo: Flickr/Mike Linksvayer

— By on November 27, 2013, 9:11 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure