LOS ANGELES (AP) β€” The U.S Department of Agriculture is telling slaughterhouse veterinary inspectors to ensure cows are euthanized when they are too sick or injured to stand.

The directive issued Wednesday is meant to keep potentially contaminated meat out of the food supply. It alters current rules that allow so-called downer cows with treatable conditions to receive veterinary care and then be slaughtered for meat.

READ MORE: Woman Arrested At O.C. Hotel On Suspicion Of Arson

Consumers Union food safety expert Michael Hansen says the rule change appears to be in reaction to the 2008 abuse allegations at a Southern California slaughterhouse that led to the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

READ MORE: Long Beach Man Arrested In Connection With Fatal Shooting

Workers at Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. were caught on videotape dragging sick and injured cows with chains and committing other abuses.

MORE NEWS: Face Coverings No Longer Required For Parishioners Who Are Fully Vaccinated

(Β© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)