BEIJING – A cash reward of up to $48,200 will be paid by the Chinese government to those who identify people violating Chinese food-safety laws, Reuters reports. Food-safety whistleblowers will be paid once authorities confirm the validity of the tips.

China’s food safety woes have remained persistent despite repeated campaigns to address the matter and tough punishments for violations. Last week, Yum Brands Inc. – KFC's parent company – apologized to Chinese customers about its handling of a recent food scare that has damaged company sales in its largest market. This latest scandal was uncovered when the official China Central Television reported late in December that some chicken supplied to KFC and McDonald's Corp contained excess amounts of antiviral drugs and hormones used as growth accelerants, the report claimed.

However, subsequent findings by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration found the levels of antibiotics and steroids in Yum's current batch of KFC chicken supply to be safe.