Strict food safety measures adopted by the US have resulted in a number of detentions and refusals of foods imported from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. These food detentions have resulted in serious economic consequences to the food industries in these exporting countries. The objective of this study was to examine the trends in food detentions and refusals and to develop a model to explain the rising increases in food detentions in LAC countries. Food detentions from 14 LAC countries from 1992 to 2007 were examined. Poisson and Negative Binomial regression models were used to determine the factors that influenced food detentions. It is noted that food detentions have been increasing with exports from LAC countries. The increase has been more pronounced since 2002. The reasons for detention have changed over the period studied. Pesticides, detention without physical examination (DWPE) and filth were the most common reasons before 2002, whereas, labeling, pesticides, and DWPE were the most common reasons after 2002. The products most commonly detained are vegetables (42%), snack and processed foods (34%), and fish (9%). The model results show that foreign direct investment (FDI) influenced the number of detentions whereas the number of detentions decreased with time. The models produced some insightful results which show that detention patterns are likely to change in emphasis, increasing with FDI, but reducing with time.