Baking and arts and crafts are fun activities that the whole family can do together. However, they can involve an ingredient that can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli. That ingredient is flour.

Flour is a raw ingredient that should only be consumed once cooked. Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of you or your children becoming sick when using flour at home:

• Never taste raw dough, batter or any other product containing uncooked flour.

• Always use hot water and soap to wash any bowls, utensils or surfaces where flour was used.

• Wash your hands with soap and warm water, before and after handling flour.

• Many recipes for homemade arts and crafts supplies, such as play dough, modeling clay and papier mâché, call for raw flour. The best thing to do is play it safe. Avoid recipes that call for raw flour or buy commercially available products instead.