Technically, food is passed around the table in a counterclockwise direction, or to the right. The reason there’s even a guideline for this is to provide some sense of order when passing food. Common sense comes into play, too. If someone only a few places away from you on your left asks for something to be passed, by all means just pass it to the left instead of sending it all the way around to the right. In general, what’s important is that when several dishes are being passed at the same time, they all go in the same direction.