( dpa ) - Singapore has banned all sales of Italian mozzarella cheese made from buffalo milk after high levels of a potentially deadly chemical were found by Italian authorities, health officials said on Saturday.
The ban is a precautionary move, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). No one in the city-state has become sick from the chemical dioxin.
Italian officials said Wednesday that they had discovered moderately high levels of dioxin in 25 mozzarella factories, raising fears that the buffalos had eaten contaminated grass.
About 106 kilograms of mozzarella cheese was last imported into the city-state on January 6. It was not known if the batch was contaminated.
The amount of Italian buffalo mozzarella cheese imported was negligible, said an AVA spokesman.
Dioxin can cause cancer, liver and kidney problems, birth defects, reduced resistance to infections and death.