The factory is only two years old and some people of Irwindale got the jobs they really wanted but the situation in the civic area is described in various sentences pointing to the same insupportable odor:
“I smelled it a half a mile away when I was picking my kids up at school.”
“Whenever the wind blows that chili and garlic and whatever else is in it, it’s very, very,very strong, it makes you cough.”
“It’s like having a plate of chili peppers shoved right in your face.”
In the process of production, as many as 40 trucks bring daily fresh chili to the conveyor belt where it is washed and mixed with garlic and other ingredients and roasted. Even if carbon-based filters are in place, they can’t reduce efficiently the strong irritating odor. About 100 million pounds of pepper are processed each year.
People in Irwindale complain because the factory’s emanations make them cough and sneeze; they have headaches and their eyes are full of tears. Irwindale officials appreciate the chili sauce as a good product. But they filed the lawsuit because the company didn’t accepted to invest in a new filtration system.
The case goes to court on Thursday.