Yum Brands Inc has acknowledged health concerns over antibiotics in its chicken supply at KFC US for the first time, Reuters reports.

The development makes KFC one of the last major restaurants groups to join the fight against the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.

KFC is giving its US poultry suppliers until the end of 2018 to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine.

KFC US President Kevin Hochman told Reuters: “We recognize that it’s a growing public health concern.

“This is something that’s important to many of our customers and it’s something we need to do to show relevance and modernity within our brand.”

The policy applies only to KFC in the United States and its 4,200 restaurants supplied by some 2,000 domestic chicken farms.

KFC’s antibiotic policy is set on a country-by-country basis.