The Centre for Food Safety has drawn flak for failing to slap a ban on Italian buffalo mozzarella cheese after high levels of cancer-causing dioxins were found in samples of the product. A spokesman for the centre said it was contacting the Italian government about the scare and would take action as appropriate. The mainland stopped importing the cheese on Friday night, following action by Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Legislator Wong Kwok-hing said yesterday the government's response was slow and unacceptable. 'If other countries are banning the imports, the Hong Kong government should follow suit before it is too late,' Mr Wong said. 'If not, public safety will be threatened.' One Hong Kong supermarket chain has removed the cheese from its shelves. A spokeswoman for Wellcome said the baffalo mozzarella, which is sold in only a few of its stores, was withdrawn on Wednesday. Other Italian cheese were still available. ParknShop could not be reached for comment. On the mainland, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine had said it would stop importing the mozzarella, Xinhua reported. Other Italian cheeses would have to go through laboratory tests before being allowed into the mainland. Importers had also been notified to stop selling the mozzarella and to make public recalls. Italy ordered a recall of potentially contaminated buffalo mozzarella on Friday as the widening health scare tainted the reputation of one of its best-known food products. The cheese has been withdrawn from 25 companies in the Campania region, where Italy's best buffalo mozzarella is made. France scrapped a decision to halt sales of some types of mozzarella.