ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Relatives of Americans whose deaths were linked to salmonella-tainted food from a Georgia peanut plant are applauding stiff prison sentences imposed on the plant's owner and two others.

Three nursing home residents in Brainerd, Minnesota were among those who died after eating the tainted food,

Former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a U.S. District Court judge Monday. Randy Napier, whose 80-year-old mother died from salmonella poisoning after eating the company's peanut butter, said the punishment should "send a message to the other manufacturers" of American foods.

Defense attorney Tom Bondurant said 28 years in prison would be a life sentence for 61-year-old Parnell. Parnell and his two co-defendants plan to appeal.

The outbreak in 2008 and 2009 was blamed for nine deaths, sickened hundreds more and triggered one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history.