China has banned the imports of Italian mozzarella cheese, the nation's product quality watchdog said, after traces of the chemical dioxin, which may cause cancer, were found in the food.
Importers must immediately stop selling the cheese and recall any that has been sold, according to a statement over the weekend on the website of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
Other cheeses from Italy will be subject to laboratory tests before they are allowed to enter the Chinese market, the statement said.
A wave of product safety scandals surrounding China-made goods broke out last year, putting the country under increased international scrutiny.
The scandals prompted Beijing to point fingers at other nations, claiming the problem was a "global" one.