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A Sriracha hot sauce shortage could last through the summer

Sriracha maker warns of shortage
Company that makes Sriracha warns of shortage 00:37

A a shortage of the popular hot sauce Sriracha may last the rest of the summer, said sauce manufacturer Huy Fong Foods.

In April, the company warned customers that they were still facing a monthslong shortage of chili peppers and it was affecting their distribution.

"As you may recall, on July 24, 2020, we sent out an email to all customers that we have been experiencing a shortage of chili pepper inventory," a letter to customers, like restaurants and stores, reads. Huy Fong Foods warned those who buy their products not to promise customers they'll have them, unless they already have them in stock. 

"Currently, due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili," the letter reads. They said it is out of their control and without the essential ingredient they can't produce their Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. 

Huy Fong Foods said any orders submitted on or after April 19, will not be scheduled for delivery until after Labor Day, which is Sept. 6. 

The letter was shared on Twitter and the news made loyal Sriracha customers nervous about the impending disappearance of their favorite hot sauce. "This is what fear looks like in a sriracha shortage," one Twitter user wrote.

"The apocalypse is nigh. There's a Sriracha shortage. Getting on my bike and headed straight to H Mart!" another replied.

Some restaurants, like Brady's Sushi and Hibachi in Richmond, Kentucky, and K&D Bistro in Ypslianti, Michigan, warned customers about the sauce shortage. "We are no longer offer extra sauce for customers to purchase. We need to save them for Phở!" K&D Bistro wrote on Faebook. 

😢 We are no longer offer extra sauce for customers to purchase. We need to save them for Phở!

Posted by K&D Bistro on Wednesday, June 8, 2022

CBS News has reached out to the company for more information and is awaiting response. 

It is unclear where the company gets their chili pepper supply from, but Mexico and parts of Western U.S., where many chili peppers are grown, are experiencing a drought.

In New Mexico, harvesting of the pepper for 2021 saw a 22% decrease from 2020, according to the USDA's Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. Of the 51,000 tons produced in 2021, 46,500 tons were green and 4,500 tons were red.

In 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned a rapid depletion of water reserves in Mexico, particularly in Northern Mexico, could lead to possible water shortages that would affect agricultural production in Mexico.

In 2015, the smooth production of Sriracha was threatened when Irwindale City Council declared the factory a public nuisance.

The action gave the Southern California factory 90 days to make changes to stop the spicy odors that prompted complaints from some residents, or city officials would be allowed enter the factory and make changes if the odors persist after the deadline. The factory ultimately stayed up and running.

Sriracha battle between factory and neighbors continues 03:37
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