China bans Italian mozzarella cheese after scare

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China banned sales of Italian mozzarella cheese on Saturday after Italy ordered a recall of the product because it might be contaminated with cancer-causing dioxins.

The Chinese government agency that supervises product quality ordered importers to stop selling the cheese and to recall Italian mozzarella that had already been sold, the official Xinhua agency said.

The mailing or carrying of the cheese into China were also banned.

“Every batch of other kinds of cheese products from Italy must go through laboratory tests before they are allowed to enter the country,” the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine was quoted as saying.

After Italy announced its recall on Friday, Japan and South Korea blocked imports and Singapore halted sales.

France briefly banned sales of some Italian mozzarella but revoked the ban hours later after winning Rome’s assurance that none of the suspect cheese had been exported there.