Sriracha Will Halt Shipping Until Mid-January Due To Stricter Health Restrictions

More bad news has arrived for Sriracha fans.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the California Department of Public Health has imposed a 30-day holding period for the three sauces produced by Huy Fong Foods, which includes Chilli Garlic, Sambal Oelek, and the beloved Sriracha.

Department spokesman Anita Gore told the Times that additional safety measures are needed since the sauces are ground fresh and not cooked, which leaves them vulnerable to harmful microorganisms. Holding batches of the sauces for 30 days should ensure that the sauce will be bacteria-free before they are sent out to stores.

The new holding period means that Huy Fong cannot ship any more Sriracha, or the other sauces it makes, until mid-January.

The distribution hold comes at a difficult time for the hot-sauce manufacturer, who is currently involved in a legal battle with the city of Irwindale, where its main factory is located. Residents complaining of headaches and burning eyes sued Huy Fong Foods back in late October, and a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge recently ordered the factory to shut down any operations that could be causing the smell.

Sriracha distribution is expected to continue as normal after the holding period ends, though many businesses are worried about the effect it could have on their profits.

Damon Chu, president of wholesale Asian food supplier Giant Union in Whittier, Calif., told the Times that his company could lose about $US300,000 in sales. His company buys up to $US150,000 worth of Huy Fong Foods products each month.

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