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Sriracha shipments stopped until mid-January by health department

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New California health department rules could mean a Sriracha shortage until mid-January. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state's Department of Public Health is enforcing stricter rules that mean the hot sauce (along with Huy Fong's chili garlic and sambal oelek sauces) must be held for 30 days after between production and shipping. While so far, there are no details about how new this policy is or what caused the change, it means that Huy Fong won't have new stock until next month, company COO Donna Lam told the San Jose Mercury News. "We're backordered as it is but now we have to tell customers we aren't sending anything until mid-January."

According to the LA Times, the delay isn't a direct result of an order last month to partially shut down its Irwindale, California factory due to an "extremely annoying" and possibly headache- and irritation-inducing smell, because the company could continue producing Sriracha using the facilities that remained open. But the beloved sauce is clearly facing challenges in its home state, and distributors say they're running out of supplies for grocery stores and restaurants alike.