Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has said sorry for a "communication error" which resulted in a patient being fed when he should have remained "nil by mouth".
Lawyers acting for the family of John Burr, 68, said he also had a "Do Not Resuscitate" order in his hospital file, which his family did not know about.
The trust said it deeply regretted the death of Mr Burr, of Luton, and had apologised unreservedly to his family.
It said in a statement: "We would like to reassure patients that we have taken very seriously the lessons which have been learned from this particularly sad case. Since the tragic incident occurred, the hospital has completed a comprehensive programme of quality transformation."