IRWINDALE, Calif.  — More than two-thirds of the complaints about odors from a Southern California Sriracha hot sauce factory came from just four households.

Since October, four addresses generated 41 of the 61 complaints about Huy Fong Foods Irwindale plant, according to data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. District spokesman Sam Atwood declined to provide the addresses of the households from which complaints were made.

The remaining 20 complaints made to the AQMD about Huy Fong came from 16 other households, according to AQMD data. Twelve complaints came from 12 different households and eight complaints came from four households.

Bottles of Sriracha sauce
Bottles of Sriracha sauce (Nick Ut/AP Photo)

In response to the data, Huy Fong CEO David Tran released an open letter Tuesday.

“We believe the 'joke' is over so don't let everyone laugh at 'us' any more,” Tran wrote. “You are welcomed to come to our facility for a tour.”

City Attorney Fred Galante said some residents have made complaints to City Hall and not the AQMD. “I know that we have had a broad number of people, not just a few households, that have complained,” Galante said.

The AQMD has not issued a notice of violation against Huy Fong Foods, Atwood said.

A minimum of six complaints against a facility within a few hours need to be made in order for a notice of violation to be issued, Atwood said. And inspectors must be able to trace the odor to the facility.

For example, when AQMD issued a notice of violation last summer against wastewater treatment plant Ridgeline Energy Services in Santa Fe Springs for foul odors, it received hundreds of complaints in one day, Atwood said.

The city took Huy Fong Foods to Los Angeles County Superior Court in October seeking a temporary restraining order against the company because residents complained the odors emanating from the Sriracha factory caused their eyes to burn and coughing fits.

Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien denied the city's request, which would have immediately shut down the factory in the midst of its three-month chili grinding season. In November, O'Brien ordered Huy Fong to shut down operations that caused the smell and immediately make changes to mitigate the smell.

The city filed 13 declarations from residents, including City Councilman H. Manuel Ortiz's son, Manuel Ortiz Jr., about the smells coming from the facility and how their quality of life was impacted, according to court documents.

Tran on Friday invited city officials to inspect the factory after he said the company fixed the alleged odor problem, about three months after O'Brien ordered the factory to remedy the smell. Tran said the company made improvements to its “odor filtering system” and the smell was controlled.

The City Council is expected Wednesday to hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall on whether or not the smells coming from Huy Fong Foods have created a public nuisance.