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Michigan restaurant admits to recycling old chips and salsa

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A Mexican restaurant owner admitted to reserving chips and salsa to multiple guests. (iStock)

A Mexican restaurant in Michigan is under investigation by local health officials after a former waitress accused the eatery of routinely reserving food to customers. 

On Aug. 23, Kristie Bowie, who says she is the mother of a 16-year-old former server, posted on Facebook that her daughter had been ordered not to throw away salsa, chips or any food items that appeared untouched, even if they had been previously served to customers.

“She was told not to throw away the salsa, chips, etc that come back that "looked" like they haven't been touched! She did not feel comfortable with this so asked the owner if it was true. He said is was true so she put her notice in and worked her shift. The owner belittled my daughter telling her she had no common sense and asked her if she is such a clean freak why is her apron dirty!” Bowie posted.

The post has since been shared almost 3,000 times.

Former Su Casa worker Anthony Rigozzi confirmed Su Casa’s reusable food practice to West Michigan’s WWMT.

“They will have used meat out and just hang it back up after the health department tells them to take it down,” says Rigozzi. “They will put it right back up as soon as they leave."

When contacted by WWMT, Su Casa’s owner Edgar Suarez admitted that he does in fact re-serve food—but he just didn’t know any better.

“I thought it was okay and the health department said it's not possible, you cannot do that,” Suarez, who has owned the restaurant for six years, told the station. “I didn't realize that even if people did not touch them or they were still in the tray, I thought everything was good."

Su Casa has previously received a citation from the Van Buren County Health Department for malfunctioning dishwasher and “exposed roast pork.” The restaurant has received another citation for reserving food.

Suarez says he’s now learned his lesson and will stop dishing out pre-picked over chips and salsa.

Says the restaurant owner, “Now we ask people before we bring anything out, we ask them would you like chips and salsa so there's no confusion in the near future.”

FoxNews.com has contacted the Van Buren Health Department about its policy on restaurant citations and closures but Su Casa is still open for business.