Hot peppers progressively get hotter the older they get, eventually turning bright red. As they age, they develop white lines and flecks, like stretch marks running in the direction of the length of the pepper. The smoother the pepper, the younger, and milder it is. The more white lines, the older and hotter.
Peppers should be washed just before you are planning to use them. To wash, rinse under clean, cold water, gentle rubbing to remove any dirt or soil that may still remain on the peppers.
Peppers will last roughly one week in a home refrigerator. Fresh, whole peppers will last longer if they are kept dry.