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Stalled shipments of Sriracha could create shortages

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Fans of the popular hot chili sauce Sriracha may need to stock up for the holidays and New Year. (Source: Ted Eytan/MGN Online) Fans of the popular hot chili sauce Sriracha may need to stock up for the holidays and New Year. (Source: Ted Eytan/MGN Online)
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LOS ANGELES (RNN) – Fans of the popular hot chili sauce Sriracha may need to stock up for the holidays and New Year.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the California Department of Public Health has halted shipment of Sriracha from its distributor, Huy Fong Foods, for a maximum of 30 days on Tuesday. The stall on the deliveries is to ensure compliance with California state food safety regulations.

The shipment ban will last until mid-January, and will stop shipments of Huy Fong Food's three sauces: Sriracha, Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek.

The cause of the shipment ban stems from an on-going battle with residents of Irwindale, CA and the California location of the manufacturer's plant. During the ban, Huy Fong foods will not be able to meet the demand of fresh batches of Sriracha until the ban is over.

According to the food blog Grub Street, the ban could halt the production of nearly 200,000 fewer bottles of Sriracha made per day.

Residents close to the factory have complained in recent months that the pungent smell has become a nuisance as well as a health risk, aggravating and causing asthma, nosebleeds, burning eyes and heartburn from breathing in the hot chili powder odor.

In November, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien ruled in favor of the city of Irwindale, and ordered Huy Fong Foods to stop operations from the factory until experts could determine how to stop the fumes from endangering the factory's surrounding environment.

The condiment has become popular in the states for its spicy, well-balanced flavor and its pairing to just about any type of food.

Upon the announcement on Tuesday, fans of the Sriracha took to Twitter and began the trending topic #Srirachaapocalypse and a furious collection of Sriracha recipes being published on the internet.

The problems in California could force a move of the factory across the country to Philadelphia. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, one Philadelphia city council member has been trying to entice the plant to move for some time, and the problems arising in California could make the offer tempting for Huy Fong Foods.

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

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