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Irwindale Drops Lawsuit Against Sriracha Maker Huy Fong Foods

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The Irwindale City Council voted 4-0 Wednesday to drop a lawsuit against the owners of the Sriracha hot sauce factory.

David Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong Foods met with city officials Tuesday, assuring them it would address complaints by residents about odor emitting from the factory, the Pasadena Star-News reported.

The company recently installed stronger filters on its rooftop air filtration system, according to the Star-News.

Tran promised the council that "at the commencement of this year's chile harvest season, if the air filtration system does not perform well, then Huy Fong Foods will make the necessary changes in order to better the system right away," the Star-News reported.

Councilman H. Manuel Ortiz abstained from the vote, the Pasadena Star- News reported.

Tran had been solicited by officials from other states -- including Arizona and Texas -- and from other Southern California areas offering to become the factory's new home.

Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods in October after some residents living nearby complained of asthma, heartburn and nose bleeds, blaming the conditions on the spicy odor coming from the hot sauce plant.

On Nov. 26, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien ordered the company to cease the operations that could be causing the odors and to take steps steps to mitigate them. The injunction did not require the company to stop operating entirely.

O'Brien acknowledged in his ruling that there was a "lack of credible evidence" linking the stated health problems to the odor, but said that the odor appears to be "extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance."

Supporters of the factory contend that the bulk of complaints against the business came from four households.

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