Already under orders from a court to partially shut down production because of concerns that spicy smells from its Irwindale, Calif., plant are irritating neighbors' eyes, noses and throats, Huy Fong Foods has now been told it can't ship its Sriracha hot sauce until at least 30 days after bottling.
"In a statement, the California Department of Public Health said, in part, 'a hold time was necessary to ensure an effective treatment of micro-organisms present in the [Huy Fong Foods] product. Holding products for a period of time at a specified pH level is one method of controlling those micro-organisms.' "
The Los Angeles Times says "it's not clear whether the hold is a new requirement."
Now there's concern about a sauce shortage.
"It's a disaster," Damon Chu, president of Giant Union Co., tells the Pasadena Star-News. "We've done business with them for 20 years and we've never had this kind of thing before. We get shipments every 2-5 days and we never had any doubt of them saying they don't' have it so we don't store that much."
The Star-News and some others on Twitter are already referring to this as a #Srirachapocalypse.
But Sriracha fans should have faith, Huy Fong Foods tells CBS Los Angeles. It predicts "there won't be a sauce shortage," thanks to bottles it already has on hand.