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The march forward

Keywords for this post:HygieneProcedureCleanlinessUsesHaccp
The march forward
When professionals get to work in their kitchen, lab or bakery, they are (if they are conscientious) very sensitive to hygiene and cleanliness.

It is impossible for a good baker for example to do a day's work without regularly cleaning the table where he or she works, and it is even more frequent for pastry cooks or cooks who handle more sensitive products such as MFE (meat-fish-eggs) which can easily be a source of contamination if strict hygiene and temperature respect are not respected.
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Last modified on: June 30th 2021

The march forward

They have a whole series of rules and ways of doing things, one in particular being that "the dirty never crosses the clean", otherwise known as the "forward march". This means that in a kitchen, all the products go in one place, the waste goes out another, and the processed products yet another. For carrots, for example, the necessarily earthy carrot boxes enter through a door, are washed, peeled, washed again, the wash water is changed, the peelings are discarded (hopefully composted) and the clean carrots enter the kitchen to be processed. With the forward motion, the peelings will never cross paths with the clean carrots again.

What about us?

In our kitchen, should we do the same?

Not with as much rigor of course, but we can still be inspired by it, and then especially it makes life easier on the work surface. In practice, it's always better to work in one direction, which varies if you are right or left handed.

Here is a specific example: breaking eggs in a bowl, simple? Simple! but a little method is not bad either, see :

forward marcht


On this picture, we are going to break eggs to put them in the bowl of a food processor in the middle, it's really quite simple, but :

- The eggs are on the right hand side (for a right handed person), easy to access
- You break them on top of the bowl which is in the middle
- When it's done, you put the shells on the left hand side, not on the right hand side, and on a sheet of newspaper that preserves the work surface
- Once it's done, we fold the newspaper on the shells and go to the bin. The work surface remains clean and clear.

The eggs have thus followed the direction of the green arrow, the "forward march".
Of course for a left-handed person it would be more convenient the other way around.

This way of doing things, all French apprentices learn it at the very beginning of their training, they never put peelings, shells, trimmings or any other waste directly on the work surface, they always have in a corner a "dustbin" (a simple bowl for us) where all the waste goes which is never left for a long time near the food.

It's quite simple, more hygienic, more practical and a very good way to work in your kitchen.

To sum up: Think of always working in the same direction on your work surface, to avoid crossing clean food with raw food.

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