Wednesday, January 12, 2000

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Sriracha hot sauce is being recalled
by the Health Department.

Recalled hot sauce
has a kick

By Pat Gee


People who like a popular Oriental hot-chili sauce, take heed: You might want to open it like a champagne bottle, with a towel over the top, or risk having the burning red liquid explode in your face.

That's what happened to a Hawaii woman Jan. 5 when she unscrewed a bottle of Tuong Ot Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce at a restaurant. She noticed the seal was bulging and before she knew it, the contents spewed out, burning her eyes.

An emergency room doctor diagnosed her with superficial corneal injury and treated her with eye drops, said Maurice Tamura, manager of the state Health Department's Food and Drug Branch.

The sauce should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase if it bears any of the following codes, found on the neck of the bottle: H9TM, H9TA, H9TW, H9TX, or H9TY.

The product is manufactured by Huy Fong Foods Inc. of Rosemead, Calif., which reported two similar incidents in that state and recalled batches bearing those codes in September.

The Health Department, which issued an advisory yesterday, is working with the distributor to notify all outlets of the possibility of explosion, the result of excessive gas production caused by fermenting garlic in the sauce.

But Tamura said "once the bottle is opened, there is no hazard. And not every bottle will pop." For more information, call the Food and Drug Branch at 586-4725.

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