It’s a situation that has persisted for at least 50 years.
This time, however, the Americans have found fault not only with conditions at individual packing plants, but also with the whole system.
They have complained that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency no longer checks every carcass to ensure it is free of manure or other harmful material contaminated with food-poisoning bacteria.
A spokesman for the CFIA told a CBC reporter that both Canada and the United States have regulations prohibiting contamination from entering the food chain.
A Canadian reporter first revealed evidence of Canadian shortcomings detailed in a report by U.S. inspectors in the late 1970s on a Burns Meats plant in Kitchener.
Subsequent investigations established that the Americans banned more than 20 Canadian plants that year from exporting to the U.S. on the basis of their failures to comply with Canadian standards.
Then agriculture minister Eugene Whelan responded by sending inspectors to check U.S. meat-packing plants and banned an equal number from exporting to Canada.