Staphylococcus aureus is a notorious foodborne pathogen since it has ability to produce variety of toxins including heat-stable enterotoxin, form biofilm, and acquire resistance to antibiotics. Biocontrol of foodborne pathogens by lytic bacteriophages garners increasing interest from both researchers and food industry. In the present study, 29 phages against S. aureus were successfully isolated from chicken, pork, and fish. Characterization of the isolates revealed that phage SA46-CTH2 belonging to Podoviridae family had a number of features suitable for food industry applications such as wide host range, short latent period, large burst size, high stress tolerance, and a genome free of virulence genes. Furthermore, phage SA46-CTH2 alone or in combination with nisin exhibited great efficacy in reducing planktonic and biofilm cells of S. aureus at various conditions tested. The combination of phage SA46-CTH2 and nisin was also found to be able to inhibit the regrowth of S. aureus at both 37 and 24 °C.Key points• A total of 29 S. aureus phages were successfully isolated from fish, pork, and chicken products. • Phage SA46-CTH2 was characterized by host range, morphology, and genome sequencing. • SA46-CTH2 significantly reduced both planktonic and biofilm cells of S. aureus. • Combination of SA46-CTH2 and nisin inhibited the regrowth of S. aureus.