Sriracha chili sauce is produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013. The maker of Sriracha hot sauce is under fire for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California production site. The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking a judge to stop production at the Huy Fong Foods factory, claiming the chili odor emanating from the facility is a public nuisance. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A local politician is looking to fix a stink by trying to draw a fiery treat under fire to the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia Councilman at-Large Jim Kenney sent a letter to David Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong Foods, Inc. -- the maker of Sriracha hot sauce -- stating that if the California town where the spicy sauce is made no longer wanted them that Philly would welcome the company with open arms.
“… The mere rumors of a Sriracha shortage are causing record lines at stores citywide,” Kenney stated in his letter. “Ever since we learned the global supply of your ambrosial Sriracha was in jeopardy due to a lawsuit filed by the City of Irwindale, Calif. ordering you to halt production at your plant located there, we have been holding our collective breath.”
Holding their breath is what some California residents claimed they have had to do because of the reported stench coming from the Huy Fong factory in the San Gabriel Valley – about 20 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Irwindale’s request last week to halt hot sauce production came in response to factory neighbors claims of an "offensive" stench wafting from the production line.
The complaint alleges the smell is so strong that residents have moved their "outdoor activities indoors" and even left their homes temporarily to avoid the stench. "To date, the city has received no action plan from (Huy) illustrating the steps it will take to address the problem," the complaint states.
"It's very strong -- it can choke you," said James Hernandez.
A judge, however, decided Thursday that a halt to production of Sriracha would be a "very radical order" and shouldn’t be made on short notice.
In his letter, Kenney states that Philly could handle the smell that the Southern Californians find so irritating.
"Around here, we live by the motto ‘if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ So, I am writing to formally invite you to relocate or expand your operations to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection," Kenney wrote.
So far there is no indication that Kenney’s plea, which also included 10 reasons Philly is the perfect fit for Huy Fong, has been even acknowledged. Kenney said he's waiting to hear back from Tran.
"We're going to continue to pursue our love for the product and hopefully his willingness to expand his product here," Kenney said. "We want to continue to attract industries that employ people who don't have college educations. Kenney said right now the city needs more blue-collar jobs to help combat a 28-percent poverty rate.
"If he comes in the end, I'll be happy," Kenney said, admitting that he would also be a little surprised.
Whatever happens, Sriracha can always count on Kenney for consumption of their product.
"Oh absolutely. I love hot stuff. It's great on cheesesteaks!"