Don't eat the raw dough from your Christmas cookies, FDA warns

The new warning highlights the potential dangers of consuming flour raw.

While the potential risks of consuming raw eggs have are widely known, the FDA's new warning highlights the potential risks of consuming flour raw.

"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” Dr. Leslie Smoot a senior adviser in the FDA's Office of Food Safety, said in a statement.

"The concern is that the specific flour came from a grain that was contaminated with the bacteria E. coli and that flour has the potential to cause human illness," Dr. Michael Levine, an associate professor at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, told ABC News.

Levine added that one of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to discard of any flour in your home that may be contaminated.

"The first thing is to look at any flour you have in the house and see if it's on the FDA's list of recalled flour," Levin said. "If it was, I'd throw that flour away. If you have flour that you subsequently transferred out of that bag into a container for example and you don't know, probably the safest thing is to throw it away."

The FDA advises on its website to not eat any raw cookie dough, cake mix, batter or other products that are intended to be baked or cooked and to follow package directions for cooking products containing flour at the temperature and time specified.

For those looking for an alternative means of consuming raw dough, some experts recommend using recipes that don't include any eggs and baking the flour in the oven prior to adding it to the mixture.