UK food maker Premier Foods has said it aims to achieve a partial start up of production of Branston Pickle within three weeks after a fire last week at its Bury St Edmunds factory caused significant damage.

The company, which has comprehensive insurance cover in place to cover material damage and any related loss of profits, subject to an excess of £1m (US$1.8m), said it expects a gradual move back to full production of all products over December and January.

News of the fire last week at the only facility that produces Branston Pickle prompted rumours of Christmas pickle shortages. The company said current stock levels of the lines produced at Bury St Edmunds are sufficient to cover approximately two weeks of sales, but these stock levels vary by product line. However, due to publicity regarding the potential lack of availability of some products, Premier Foods said it may experience significant short-term customer demand, which may result in the current stock being sold much quicker than it would normally be sold.