August 21, Associated Press – (California) USDA eyes whether tainted beef entered food supply. Federal regulators who shut down a central California slaughterhouse after receiving an animal welfare video were investigating August 21 whether beef from sick cows reached the human food supply. The video appears to show workers bungling the slaughter of cows struggling to walk and even stand. Under federal rules, sick animals cannot be slaughtered for human consumption. The investigation will determine whether sick cows were slaughtered and whether meat products from the company should be recalled, said a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service. The agency suspended operations August 20 at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford after receiving the video August 17 from the animal welfare group Compassion Over Killing. The footage shows animals bleeding and thrashing after being repeatedly shot in the head with a pneumatic gun in unsuccessful efforts to render them unconscious for slaughter. The USDA said investigators were trying to determine whether the cows in the video were just lame or sick, which would render them unfit for human consumption. Compassion Over Killing said its undercover investigator was employed by the slaughterhouse and made the video over a 2-week period in June. Online USDA records show the company contracted to sell ground beef to USDA food programs.