Alhamdulillah, by Allah's (swt) Grace and Mercy I have recently begun practicing Islam, may Allah bless you for establishing a light on the Internet when there is so much darkness and evil present on it.
I am a little confused about what foods are haram/halal. What to do when 'people of the book' offer meat (besides pork) to us?
Also, I have heard that certain ingredients in food may be derived from animals, such as mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, gelatin, etc. Are these permissible to eat?
As well, I have heard certain chocolate bars have trace amounts of alcohol in them. But they are so small that there is no way of being even slightly intoxicated from them.
Please clarify these issues, Allah-willing.
Praise be to Allaah Who has guided you to follow His laws and religion.
We ask Allaah to give you and us even more of His Bounty.
In response to your question, there is nothing wrong with eating any halaal food offered to us by the People of the Book, so long as it is not mixed with haraam like pork and so on. As regards sweets that contain unchanged alcohol, we are not permitted to eat them, whether the alcohol in them is in big amounts or only a little. The answer to the remainder of your question may be found under question #210 .
And Allaah is the Source of help.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid