France's health minister says experts are "99 percent sure" that the E. coli outbreak that put seven people in the hospital in Bordeaux region is the same strain of bacteria that killed 44 people _ all but one in Germany.
Hospital officials say that three of the seven sickened are on dialysis, while a 78-year-old is in critical condition. Another person was released.
Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said that the strain appears to be the same as the one in Germany.
France halted the sale of fenugreek, mustard and arugula sprout seeds from British mail order seed and plant company Thompson & Morgan. The company says the link is unsubstantiated.
German officials attribute deaths there to a sprout farm in northern Germany.