The US has moved a step closer to banning an antibiotic given to poultry, as a judge ruled that use of the antibiotic in chicken can lead to drug-resistant food-poisoning bacteria.

A few years ago the US Food and Drug Administration concluded that the rise in the number of cases of people getting ill from antibiotic-resistant campylobacter, a bacteria mainly found in poultry, was due to the use of fluoroquinolones in chicken, reports the Associated Press.

After its investigation, the FDA proposed a ban the two fluoroquinolones used in poultry, prompting one company to take its drug, Sara Flox, of the market. Another company, Bayer Corp, protested the decision and has continued to sell its Baytril drug.

However, FDA Administrative Law Judge Daniel J Davidson has now upheld the FDA’s decision, and said there were “serious questions about the safety of Baytril use in poultry”, the Associated Press reports.

Bayer now has 60 days to make a final appeal to the FDA’s commissioner.