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Mexican Restaurant Under Fire For Reusing Food

| by Michael Howard
Chips and salsaChips and salsa

A Mexican restaurant in Michigan is under investigation after a former employee's mother revealed on Facebook the restaurant had been re-serving food that customers left on the tables.

Kristie Bowie's 16-year-old daughter worked at Su Casa Restaurant in South Haven as a busser for one week, according to Bowie's Facebook post. She quit after being told to save food that looked like it hadn't been touched.

"She was told not to throw away the salsa, chips, etc that … 'looked' like they haven't been touched!" Bowie wrote. "She did not feel comfortable with this so [she] asked the owner if it was true. He said [it] was true so she put her notice in and worked her shift."

Things reportedly did not end well for Bowie's daughter.

"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!" she continued. "She finished her shift, like a trooper, then left and called her dad in tears. Naturally he went down there. Long story short he is banned from there now, like we care, and Erica was terminated."

Bowie concludes her post, which received over 750 likes and was shared nearly 3,000 times in six days, with a warning to prospective patrons of the restaurant.

"Unless you don't care about your food having been at another table, I would suggest not eating there!" she wrote.

Former employee Anthony Rigozzi told WWMT that chips and salsa aren't the only things the restaurant recycles.

"They will have used meat out and just hang it back up after the health department tells them to take it down," he said. "They will put it right back up as soon as they leave. I would rather have the place shut down because this shouldn't go on."

According to health inspection reports obtained by WWMT, Su Casa was previously cited for a malfunctioning dishwasher and an exposed pork roast.

WWMT also got in touch with the restaurant's owner, Edgar Suarez, who said he didn’t realize re-serving the food was a problem.

“I thought it was OK and the health department said it's not possible, you cannot do that,” Suarez said. “I didn't realize that even if people did not touch them or they were still in the tray, I thought everything was good."

He told the news agency that his restaurant's policy has since been changed.

"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," he said.

Su Casa has been cited for re-serving the food but remains open.

Sources: Kristie Bowie/Facebook, WWMT / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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