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Was This ‘Typo’ On A Beverage’s Expiry Date Label Done On Purpose?


Source: Facebook & Reddit

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As people become more aware of the importance of reading food labels, food products manufacturing companies have an elevated responsibility to ensure that their labels are easy to read.

Recently, a Malaysian shared in the Facebook group PenangToday Community a photo of an unusual text on their Tetra Pak drink packaging.

The expiry date of the beverage was unclear as it read, “09/01/2023A”.

It is possible that the A in the date was merely a mistake, but those familiar with the superstition associated with the number four would have to think twice.

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Does ‘2023A’ mean 2024, or was the letter A unintentionally printed?

Netizens’ reactions

Netizens did not find the abnormality amusing. They believe that the presence of the letter A was just a typo or a code for the beverage.

“There is no superstition in food safety procedures. Not all cultures regard the number four as unlucky,” said one netizen.

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The superstitious number four

Most Malaysians are familiar with the superstition associated with the number four, but if you are not, here is a brief explanation!

If you have used the lifts at a condominium, office tower or any high-rise building before, you would have probably noticed that the buttons indicating the building floors are not exactly in order.

The number four is usually missing from the lift buttons. This is because the number four is deemed unlucky.

Lift 1


The pronunciation of the Chinese word for the number four is similar to that of the Chinese word for death.

Since Malaysia has a substantial Chinese population, it is common to find the number four omitted from buildings floors, condominium blocks and vehicle number plates.

The number four is usually skipped altogether, so the fourth floor does not exist, or it is replaced with the number twenty-three A (23A) in this particular case.

That is why the year 2023A, printed on the beverage’s packaging, was confusing to Malaysians!

Although it gave us a chuckle, the expiry date label is no place for superstitions!


Also read: Hungry Ghost Festival Is Here! These 6 Life-Saving Tips May Come In Handy To Avoid Unwanted Consequences!

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Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook
Source: Reddit

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